It takes a community to make a project successful and Compass Community Health utilized that model when they honored area veterans Friday. Volunteers from many local organizations including RSVP, Compass Community Health, the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Red Cross, Ohio State University Extension Office, Shawnee State University’s Rotaract Club, Kathleen Young Southeastern Ohio liaison for Governor John Kasich’s Office, Congressman Bill Johnson, Pleasant Green Baptist Church, United States Daughters of 1812, the Portsmouth City Health Department, ADAHMS Board, Community Action Organization, Potters House Food Pantry and others, distributed donated food items to more than 115 local veterans in honor of Veterans Day.
Compass Community Relations and Development Director Gina Collinsworth said the food drive kicked off eight weeks ago and the members of Mrs. Jennifer Morgan’s 4th grade class at Portsmouth West Elementary hosted the drive in their school, collecting over 2,000 cans and other non perishable food items. They also helped with assembling the bags of food, including personalized letters of thanks to each veteran.
“This year we have two sets of heroes, our veterans we are serving and the West fourth graders in Mrs. Jennifer Morgan’s class. This group of 34 were instrumental in collecting double their original goal, and we ended up with over 2,000 cans,” Collinsworth said. “They were the winners of the pizza party prize to the class who collected the most, and in their generosity, they decided to share the prize with the class who were the runners up. In every way, Operation Gratitude is a project that serves everyone in the community.”
This is the third year for the veterans recognition project which is the idea of RSVP Coordinator Libby Brisker.
“It is such an honor to serve our veterans and recognize them for their service to our country,” Brisker said. “We have partnered again this year with so many who are eager to show their appreciation. We hope every veteran knows they are never forgotten.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.