FRACKVILLE, Pa. -- Boxes of donations sit stacked up inside the Frackville Elks Lodge. Soon, these supplies will be delivered to American heroes in need.
"There's not enough organizations around that actually support veterans, and that's one of our goals," Don Dudash, a Navy veteran and member of the Elks Lodge said.
Until April 1, Lodge No. 1533 on Third Street in Frackville will be collecting various items for its annual veterans supply drive. The donations will then be delivered to the Veterans Affairs Hospitals near Wilkes-Barre and Lebanon.
"I used to go to the veterans hospital from down here years ago," Raymond "Duke" Tomko, an Army veteran said. "We used to take a lot of stuff to here and Lebanon, and I'll tell you, they really appreciate it. Toiletries, shaving cream, razors, playing cards, hats and so forth."
In 2017-18, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission served more than a half million veterans at more than 330 facilities across the country. Don Dudash served in the Navy in Waikiki in the 1960s and knows how much veterans appreciate these donations.
"A lot of these guys basically have very little," Dudash said. "Most of them have no family left or whatever, so a pair of socks, some deodorant, stuff like that means a lot to these guys."
"It goes a long way in their heart, and they thank people for the ones who donated to them," Tomko said.
The Elks Lodge in Frackville is only open Thursday through Sunday, but you can drop off donations at any time. Just leave the items inside the visitors' doorway.