The United Way of the Concho Valley (UWCV) finalized plans for their 2019 campaign theme, “Operation Hope Delivered.” Runnels County is part of the 17 counties that make up the UWCV.

  The press release from the UWCV stated the details of the program:

“The United Way of the Concho Valley is hoping to make a difference in the lives of former military members. When veterans leave a shelter or transitional housing and move to a permanent residence they often don’t have the basic household items needed to set up their new homes. This year’s Day of Caring theme will be “Operation Hope Delivered.” It is scheduled for Friday, May 10 and sponsored by H-E-B.

The United Way is soliciting help from the community in gathering new household and personal items, which will be placed in baskets and delivered to local veterans beginning May 17. A list of items that will be accepted can be found on the United Way of the Concho Valley’s website.

Collection points will be in numerous businesses and companies throughout the Concho Valley. A list of locations will be posted on the United Way of the Concho Valley’s website.

Donations of items or cash to purchase supplies may be brought to the United Way office at 955 Turner Street, San Angelo, Texas anytime before May 10. Checks should be made payable to the United Way of the Concho Valley’s Day of Caring Project.

Just thanking a veteran can go a long way, but an act of kindness means even more. For more information please call the United Way of the Concho Valley at (325)949-3716.”

  According to the US Census Bureau there are 675 veterans in Runnels County and the number is increasing. For homeless veterans finally getting off the street or moving from temporary accommodations, it can mean the difference between settling in with the necessities of life or going without until they could purchase the items.

  Robyn Flores is the Community Impact Director for the UWCV and is a driving force behind the Day of Caring. Flores spoke of the how the “Hope Delivered” idea came about, “We try to keep an ever constant pulse on our community – to gauge the needs in our area and determine how we can better meet those needs. We realized that there were many veterans in our community who were transitioning from homelessness. The veterans were transitioning into housing, which is great! However, once they received housing they often didn’t have the basic household essentials that they needed. Their caseworkers do an amazing job of trying to find those goods through local organizations; but, this is a large task and can often be time consuming. We wanted to provide “Welcome Home Baskets” to honor veterans in our community by providing these goods and taking one load off of their shoulders.”

  Flores said businesses and others within the community have stepped up to help the cause, “We are very thankful to H-E-B for generously sponsoring this event. H-E-B is always ready and willing to help our community, and we appreciate their partnership. In addition to H-E-B’s sponsorship, local supportive businesses will be hosting their own drives within their workplaces. This will allow their employees and the community to come together to help our needy vets.

Myrna Lackey, an Outreach Vista with the Military Peer Network, has been influential in our planning process. Myrna does a tremendous work of helping needy veterans in our community. She is helping us identify the veterans in our community who could use this assistance. We will also be leaving some baskets with Myrna to distribute to veterans who will need this service in the future.”

“United Way of the Concho Valley seeks to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another. We currently fund 19 programs within the Concho Valley which provide help in three target areas: health, education and income. One of the programs we fund is the Veteran Outreach Program within West Texas Counseling and Guidance. We are deeply appreciative of the service and dedication our veterans have given to our nation and are honored to do our small part in showing them our gratitude.”

  Items that are collected will be put in baskets and delivered to the veterans, which includes veterans in Runnels County. In Runnels County you can drop items off at the newspaper office at 806 Hutchins Ave anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday – Friday. I am a veteran of 9 years in the army and a director on the UWCV’s board of directors and can answer any questions you may have about the Day of Caring.

  If you are a business owner interested in allowing a collection box at your business, you can contact me at (325) 262-2635 or the UWCV at (325) 949-3716. Volunteers are also needed to deliver the baskets on May 17th.