Vietnam Veterans of America 583’s Operation Holidays is in full swing preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They serve four counties: Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Presque Isle. Tammy Kish, fundraising coordinator for VVA 583 Operation Holidays said, “We provide Thanksgiving dinners for those people in need in the four counties, and also we also do our toys for kid’s program right after the Thanksgiving program.”
The program serves almost 1000 families each year and roughly 2500 children for the holidays. Their list of qualifications to receive aid is short,”The main qualification is a need,” said Kish. “If they’re in a need, then we’re here to help.” If interested in receiving a holiday meal, Christmas presents for your children, or if you would like to donate or volunteer, you can call Judy between 9 AM and 6 PM 989–358–9085 or Tammy, who is in office from 8 AM to 8 PM 7 days per week, at 989–464–5588. Thanksgiving meals will be delivered November 18 and 19 with Christmas gifts going out in early December.
While the VVA organizes the effort, the community is what keeps the program thriving. “Our community helps us do this program every year,” said Kish, “If it wasn’t for our wonderful and loving community, this program wouldn’t be here to help others. We’re the vessel, we have building and collect the names and get it out there, but people come in and help us deliver the packages, they help us box the packages, we have groups that come in and wrap.[If] people want to wrap or deliver, give me a call and we’ll get you set up.”
Donations can be arranged by calling Judy or Tammy, or by stopping by their location at the Thunder Bay Shopping Center between 8 AM and 8 PM 7 days per week.