Last month, Troop 41 Eagle Scout Ben Martin made 150 thank you bags for the veterans at the VA hospital in West Haven. The goal of the project was to show veterans that they are still appreciated, despite people not being able to visit hospitals given the current pandemic. Ben felt it was really important to help veterans who are isolated. Speaking from personal experience, Martin organized the project upon experience with his grandmother being hospitalized during the lockdown, it was hard to arrange visits.
Martin could not have completed this project without the help of the scouts from Troop 41 and Amity High School volunteers. Together, they assembled bags containing hand-written thank you cards, stickers, custom American flag pens, and a variety of snacks for the veterans to enjoy. These items would not have been included without the help of various donors from around the community. “I was excited to donate when I heard about your project. The idea of a thank you to someone who served our country in the military made me want to be a tiny part of your project” said donor and Woodbridge resident Margaret Hamilton. “There is no way to truly thank our veterans, and knowing that I could help…made me more than happy to donate.”
Despite the difficulties involved because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Troop 41 pushed through and completed the project with a group of scouts arriving masked up to B’nai Jacob to complete the task of making 150 bags. “It was a great idea especially with COVID going around,” said Troop 41 scout Anthony Cassapulla. “It must get boring and lonely in the hospital. It is really nice to give them something to cheer them up and make them happy.”
If anyone is interested in writing thank you cards for the VA hospital, this project is ongoing and will be writing more cards in the future; please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos Contributed by: Marie Pedenski and Jhunathyn Ellis
By Ben Martin and Ethan Lavi