WASHINGTON D.C. – November 26, 2020
This Thanksgiving Day, several veteran transition homes and community clinics throughout Washington D.C. were visited by AMVETS National Headquarters staff members and volunteers delivering meals to local veterans.
The veterans group coordinated with many figures in the D.C. community, including Ward 8 ANC Commissioner Stephen Slaughter.
“Once I heard what AMVETS and Cherissa wanted to do here I immediately got in contact with the three vet centers in my area,” said Slaughter. “Those vet centers were very receptive to the area, they understood this was something the veterans would truly appreciate. As a veteran myself I understand what it can be like to not be home for the holidays. There’s no hesitation from me when it comes to being a part of events like this.”
Dubbed “Operation ThanksGIFTing,” the volunteers covered much of D.C. and Fort Belvoir, Virginia, yesterday, delivering more than 300 turkey and ham dinners to those unable to enjoy the holiday with friends and family this year.
“I think it is safe to say that 2020 has been by far the most challenging year for our entire nation,” said Dawn Carty, Founder of SpeakLife and lead food prep for the event. “ We are honored to be in a healthy position to serve those less fortunate. Although we are living in difficult times, we still must seek the love and compassion for those who have less and need more.”
“There is nothing like giving back to our brothers and sisters in arms. No matter what, we are thankful for them and their service to our country. They deserve this.“
– Serena Bermudez, Navy veteran
Volunteers were divided into smaller groups in an effort to cover more ground and ensure veterans would be receiving the meals concurrent with veterans at other D.C. locations. Army veteran and AMVETS member Tammi Lambert played an essential role in volunteer organizing and event logistics.
“Through this opportunity with AMVETS I’m able to come out here and continue to serve fellow veterans in the community,” said Lambert. “I remember being as a soldier being deployed overseas it was tough being away from friends and family during holidays. One of the things we had to look forward to were hot meals from the DFAC. Many of these veterans are in the same situation when it comes to their loved ones. It’s nice to be able to provide this for them.”
“Operation ThanksGIFTing means a lot to us this year with all that’s happened in 2020,” said Cherissa Jackson, Chief Medical Executive for AMVETS. “There are four pillars that build out the AMVETS HEAL program acronym: Healing, Evaluation, Advocacy, and Legislation. What we’re doing today certainly contributes to one of those pillars. I’m excited that we’re able to come out here on Thanksgiving Day, show veterans that we care about them, that they are not forgotten, and to continually serve them.”
Miles Migliara, National Communications Manager