Gifts from the heart

Annual Adopt a Vet Christmas Party was a crowd pleaser

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ The 16th Annual Marshalltown Central Business District (MCBD) Adopt A Veteran Christmas Party was held Sunday night in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center of the Iowa Veterans Home. A total of 37 veterans received gifts. Here, event coordinator Fauna Nord, center, hands gifts out to veterans Craig Hoepfner, left, and Alon Zalk, right.

The 16th Annual Marshalltown Central Business District (MCBD) Adopt A Veteran Christmas Party was held Sunday night in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center of the Iowa Veterans Home. Every year, residents who do not have family or friends in which to spend the holidays with, are signed up to receive gifts, purchased by members of the community.

Earlier in the season, these veterans were each assigned a number, with the gift requests written on paper stars that were distributed to the following local businesses: Hellberg’s Jewelers, McGregors Furniture Store, Coldwell Banker and Black Tire Bike Company.

“We gave gifts to 37 IVH veterans,” said coordinator Fauna Nord who serves as MCBD president.

Last year’s event saw a record-setting 128 veterans receive gifts. The number was lower in 2017 because this year’s program focused solely on those who would not have received a gift otherwise.

“In the past, we let any IVH veteran sign up, but this year, we really wanted to focus on those that had no family or friends or visitors,” Nord said.

This year’s event was co-sponsored by Restore Church, who helped raise money to purchase coupon books for 25 veterans, for use in the IVH Canteen. The church also provided live music, courtesy its worship band.

Veterans received gifts ranging from sweatshirts, soda and snacks, chocolate, hats, sports jerseys and video games.

“It’s important [the veterans] get love at Christmastime,” Nord said. “We appreciate the community’s participation in purchasing gifts and monetary donations, that went to buy Canteen coupon books and for party expenses.”

People interested in making donations for next year’s Christmas program, and for the annual Valentine’s Day Party, contact Nord at: 641-751-2748.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com