Local veterans assistance program in need of donations - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local veterans assistance program in need of donations

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A local group of veterans is working to make the lives of other vets in our area better, by helping supply needed medical equipment.

They're relying solely on donations to make it happen.

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 203 in Chattanooga is the second largest in the nation with nearly 700 members. They've recently started a program to help their fellow vets who are disabled and don't have the things they need to get around comfortably.

"I like it," World War Two Veteran Glenn Shavers says.

The smile on 92-year-old Glenn Shavers' face says it all. He's thankful a wheelchair was donated to the Chattanooga VVA chapter, and that they found out it's exactly what this WWII vet has been hoping for.

"We're just thrilled to death with it," says Helen, Glenn's wife.

Helen, his wife of more than 60 years, is the one who has to move him around their Fort Oglethorpe home.

She says he's no longer able to use the larger, motorized chair Medicare provided.

"Our house is small and the doors are small, so it's been great, lighter weight and just easier to handle," says Helen.

"You might not be for what's going on in the world today, but never turn your back on the warrior, and that's what we're here for," says Charlie Hobbs.

Chapter 203 President Charlie Hobbs is a Vietnam vet himself and was excited to start this donation program to help those who served before him, like Mr. Shavers.

"It means a whole lot to us," Hobbs says. "It's just something special," says Hobbs.

They've already helped five vets since starting this program.

Mr. Hobbs is storing the donations in his garage.

They don't have a building to call their home base.

"We're hoping to work some kind of deal out with someone that has a building, where we have a place big enough to meet," says Hobbs.

They track down the vets in need of certain types of equipment either from the VA clinic, or just through word of mouth.

They're asking for donations not only of wheelchairs, but also bathroom chairs, bed, car and stair lifts.

"We have no permanent funding as just a veterans service organization," Hobbs says. "We get out and our members, we work for everything we got," says Hobbs.

The Shavers hope word of what they're doing continues to spread, so others can benefit like they did.

"That they're aware of what they've done, and I appreciate them," Helen says. "It means a lot."

If you'd like to help donate to the Chattanooga chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America or know a vet who could use their help, call 423-495-0202 or visit their web site here.   

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