GRANDVIEW - Local American Legion members are embarking on an effort to help its national organization raise $500,000 for Operation Comfort Warriors during the month of February.
Operation Comfort Warriors is a program that provides comfort items to hospitalized and recovering wounded troops.
"The normal thought is to seek larger donations for such efforts," says Robert Gates, Commander of Grandview's Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of the American Legion.
"If past performance is any indicator, we might end up with a couple of hundred dollars" he added. "We decided to ask for very small amounts from a large number of individuals to obtain more money for this worthy effort."
The post is asking community residents to donate a penny a day during the 28 days of February, totaling 28 cents per person.
"There are very few things that cost less than 30 cents these days," said Gates, "But less than 30 cents can make a difference to our wounded troops."
Operation Comfort Warriors now provides items that cannot be provided by the military. This includes sweatsuits that serve as loose fitting clothing for burn patients and for physical therapy patients. Other items given to troops include phone cards, games, Amazon gift cards, iPods to help recovering troops mask the noise of ringing in their ears, along with many other items.
Gates noted that the Warrior Transition Unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma has been a major recipient of funds through the program.
"Unlike similar programs, 100 percent of all donated funds go directly to this program to provide comfort items to our troops," Gates said.
The post is challenging its own members in this effort and encourages all individuals, schools, churches and businesses in the area to help with this effort.
"We are only asking for 28 cents per person," said Gates, "But we'll take nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins and even folding money as well."
The local American Legion post will recognize the biggest financial contributor with a plaque. The school whose students and staff contribute the most will also receive a plaque.
Individual checks for donations may be made out to Post 57 and mailed to Legion Post 57, PO Box 56, Grandview, WA 98930.
Arrangements to pick-up larger coin donations may be made by calling Jim or Nancy Davidson at 509-882-1984.