by Lu Ann Stoia
WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio — The VFW Riders post 3762 is pitching in to help take a week’s worth of groceries to elderly and disabled people in Fayette County during the coronavirus crisis.
We are highlighting our helpers – a group of veterans who are beginning their second week of collections after serving 50 households on Saturday. “We have to do something. We have people living in cars. So many are in need. Many of them are 75 years old or more and some are disabled,” said Duke Hanscel, Commander of VFW Riders post 3762.
The group is collecting donations to purchase food from area stores. They have received donations from Florida, Kentucky and all over Ohio. The group is planning to continue the home delivery service on Saturdays through April and if needed into May.
“We have so many people who can’t get to the stores or those who are afraid to be out of their homes because they could be more susceptible to the virus. So we are helping,” said Hanscel. “My own mother is in her eighties and worried about going out to shop.”
The original plan was for $500 to be spent, but Hanscel said the limit was increased to $1,000 a week due to the number of calls they received from people needing assistance.
The veterans said they are working with the local health department so that they are working in a safe manner and taking all precautions. Hanscel said they are taking their temperatures and keeping a log. They also are wearing face masks and gloves.
Hanscel said they are getting more calls, so they are teaming up with Southern Ohio Buckeye Bikers, who have started a GoFundMe account.
Local restaurant Ranchers is also working with the group by donating meals to the elderly and disabled. “All they need to do is pull up to the drive-through and tell them they are part of this effort. They will get a meal and not even have to get out of their car,” Hanscel said.
If you know someone in need, please contact Duke Hanscel at 740-505-4459.
“I hope our country learns from this crisis. We need to do better. We will do better,” Hanscel said.