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Veterans who are shut-in or at nursing homes receive gifts

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 December 2018 at 11:23 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Local veterans gathered Saturday morning in front of the VFW in Medina to collect gift bags for delivery to shut-in veterans, in cooperation with an annual Christmas drive started 11 years ago by Allan Kepner. From left are Glenn Whitmore, Dave Morien, Fred Heschke, Orleans County Veterans’ Service Agency director Earl Schmidt, Steve Johnson, Dave Kusmierczak, Dave Higgins, Dave Barhite and Eric Delano.

MEDINA – A Medina businessman who started providing gifts to shut-in veterans at Christmas has been able to expand his ministry, thanks to support from the VFW and American Legion in Medina.

On Saturday afternoon, VFW and Legion members delivered gift bags to dozens of veterans in Orleans County who are homebound or in nursing homes.

The program was started 11 years ago by Allan Kepner as “His Healing Presence,” in which Kepner sought donations of gifts to deliver to veterans and their families.

At the same time, the VFW and American Legion were sponsoring their own veterans’ program at Christmas.

“All we could give was $5 and a pair of socks,” said Dave Kusmierczak, a member of both veterans’ groups. “Now that we have gone in with Allan, we provide gifts to all shut-in veterans in Orleans County, while he does veterans in Genesee, Niagara and Monroe counties.”

Gifts this year included blankets, a stuffed animal, hats or scarves, a plaque on an easel, word search book and an encouraging card with a flag. Extra gifts are provided for homeless shelters for veterans.

Anyone may still send cash or gift donations. For information, contact Kepner at (585) 356-8128.

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