Businesses and organizations from throughout Oregon have come to the assistance of the Lebanon veterans’ home as the staff members at the facility have faced the challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tyler Francke, a community and media relations coordinator for the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, said this support has been very meaningful for everyone at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home.
“I know the community support from local businesses and organizations has been incredibly encouraging for the residents and staff at this time. It has been a difficult time for the residents, not only dealing with the fear and uncertainty that many are facing in these unprecedented times, but also the loss of many things they look forward to (in-person visits from loved ones, group activities and outings, even communal dinners). The many ways that the community has shown that they still care and are behind our veterans has been nothing short of life-giving,” Francke said.
Over the past couple of weeks the Lebanon Soup Kitchen has worked to provide food for the staff at the home. The organization has done this at a time when it us unable to serve meals to its own clients because of social distancing requirements.
In addition, family and friends of current employees, and even former employees, have been shopping for residents to make sure they still receive some of the special items their families would normally provide.
Lebanon’s Flowers on Vine delivered over 150 flowers after learning that one of the veteran residents had asked what the flowers looked like outside. Recreation and nursing staff helped deliver a flower to every resident.
Oregon State Police has sent cards for residents and staff and has asked for a list of requested items which they are going to provide.
Eight Elks Lodges from around the Willamette Valley delivered a large quantity of chips, cookies, energy bars and coffee.
A Girl Scout troop in Eugene is donating cookies to staff and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce has been organizing meals for staff. One of the partners of the veterans’ home, HealthStream, has also joined in the effort, bringing in 50 pizzas for staff last week.
Albany’s American Legion Post 10 worked together with Southpaw’s Pizza in North Albany to provide meals for several days.
Commander David Solomon of Post 10 said he received a phone call letting him know that the canteen had been shut down at the veterans’ home and the volunteers and staff need food.
“They don’t have time to go out … and they’re having a difficult time eating,” Solomon said. “I went and I got a friend of mine, Chris Reese, he owns Southpaw’s Pizza in North Albany. Chris is a retired Marine colonel and when I told him what was going on, no questions asked, he said ‘I’ll give you two days’ worth of food.’”
Solomon said that in addition to Southpaw’s Pizza helping feed volunteers and staff two days last week, American Legion Post 10 volunteers prepared a full turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. Solomon said the Post will continue to support the veterans’ home as long as is necessary.
“The veterans and the staff, they deserve only the best,” Solomon said. “As long as they need us, we’re going to be there.”
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