The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 11, 2013

Program aims to keep veterans warm

Tom Lavis

JOHNSTOWN — Hindman Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc. has teamed with Veterans & Family Memorial Care again for Operation Sweaters for Veterans.

Beginning Nov. 4 and running through Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Hindman will accept new or gently used sweaters and gloves to be delivered to local veterans’ hospitals, homes and service organizations.

The sweaters or gloves may be dropped off at Hindman Funeral Homes, 1521 Frankstown Road or 146 Chandler Ave.; or Easly-Hindman Funeral Home, 333 Beaver St., Hastings.

“We have been doing this successfully for over five years and it has been growing each year,” said Bill Hindman, funeral home owner.

Last year the funeral home collected several hundred sweaters and the community really stepped up to support the effort.

“We have some families who buy new sweaters then package and gift wrap the items to make it a little more special,” Hindman said.

On Nov. 11, Americans throughout the world will commemorate Veterans Day, a day set aside to thank the nation’s veterans for service given and sacrifices made to protect the freedoms of a great nation.

Hindman is one of nearly 1,000 Veterans and Family Memorial Care funeral homes providers nationwide that is sponsoring Operation Sweaters For Veterans.

“We will be delivering the bulk of the sweaters to the veterans’ homes in Altoona and Hollidaysburg, but we try to distribute them as best we can to other veterans,” Hindman said.

Operation Sweaters for Veterans is a unique way to honor military heroes.

“It’s a nice way to help keep our veterans warm and comfortable,” Hindman said.

The program is second only to the funeral home’s “Christmas Stockings for Soldiers” initiative. People will be encouraged to stop by Hindman’s after Thanksgiving to pick up a free Christmas stocking to take home, decorate and fill with Christmas goodies. The stockings are returned to the funeral homes and shipped to troops overseas beginning Dec. 11, in time to be delivered at Christmas.

For more information, call 535-4018.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on LavisTD.