Local group to hold fundraiser for VA nursing home

By Abby Morris

A local organization is going to host a fundraiser to help purchase some very special gifts for veterans living in the nursing home at Mountain Home.
   The Tri-Cities Marine Corps Auxiliary League (MCAL) will be holding a bake sale at the James H. Quillen Veterans Administration Medical Center at Mountain Home on Nov. 19, beginning at 8 a.m. The bake sale will be set up in the lobby area of the hospital, near the information center.
   The purpose of the bake sale is to help raise funds to purchase televisions for the veterans to watch while they are staying in the nursing home, according to Shelby Ward, who is a member of the MCAL.
   "The VA doesn't provide any funds for extras like TVs or any non-necessary item. They just provide the medical care," she said. "So they do provide for outside organizations to make donations for these kinds of items."
   Televisions provide a special link for veterans, according to Ward. "These TVs are the only outside connection for many of them because they don't have any family or people to visit them," she said.
   The nursing home at the VA has 120 beds, which are most of the time completely occupied and sometimes people have to be placed on a waiting list in order to get into the facility, according to Ward.
   Currently, the VA nursing home provides a television in each of the 120 rooms, however those televisions are getting older and subject to malfunctions, Ward said. "They are going out pretty quick over there and are trying to keep up with the cost of replacing them as they go out," she said. "They have purchased nine so far, so 111 is what they are trying to purchase."
   Approximately $400 is needed in order to replace one television due to the cost of the television, installation and having it specially wired into the VA's television system, Ward stated.
   "I've gotten a good response to the project so far," Ward said. "I'm hoping that it will make some people aware of the great needs of our sometimes forgotten veterans, and our older veterans especially are often forgotten."
   According to Ward, members of the MCAL are accepting monetary donations for the project as well as donations of baked goods to be sold during the bake sale. The group will be selling individual servings as well as whole cakes and pies.
   For more information on the project or to make a donation of money or baked goods, contact Ward at 543-4315.