Thanking veterans in small, but useful ways

By Audrey Wise

November 8, 2013 Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- One local group is finding a way to thank veterans in a small, but very useful way.

The Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing is putting on an eleven day event called 'Joining Hands to Help Veterans'.

Volunteers are giving gifts, cleaning yards and doing small home repairs as a way to give back to the veterans who gave so much.

Friday afternoon disabled Marine veteran Joey Parker of Peoria received a gift from the Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing. Saturday volunteers will help with raking his leaves and cleaning out his gutters.

Parker said just hearing 'thank you' goes a long way, "when we come home we always think that people don't care, when really everybody does care, you serve your country and people really appreciate it."

"Our volunteers who go out to make these presentations, I think, are just really touched by talking to the veterans. The veterans themselves are very, very touched by us coming out. Just doing a yard cleanup, for example, most of the veterans that we're doing that for are not able to do it themselves or they can't afford to have it done for them," said Greg Woith, president of the Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing.

Woith asks that everyone thank a veteran or if you are able, help them in someway this Veteran's Day. "If they're a neighbor or if they're someone down the block, go out and say thank you on this very special weekend, find a veteran and say thanks."

The center is always looking for help with these projects. For more information on volunteering call (309) 363-3737.

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