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From socks to coats, veterans need help at Christmas

Many veterans who arrive at the Veterans Restoration Quarters at the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry carry their worldly possessions in a sack.

Once they get in a program, they need clothing, shoes or other items to go out in the workforce. Most veterans don't have the kind of boots required at construction sites and some factory jobs. Veterans who sign up for the organization's culinary arts program need shoes.
"For culinary arts they have to have non-slick soles because they're in wet kitchens," said Jeff Miller, who is helping promote the Christmas drive to raise $13,000 to outfit 261 veterans with the shoes and clothing they need. "They can't just wear their Nikes in there."
Henderson County's HonorAir Committee and American Legion Post 77 are partnering to raise money for the homeless veterans served by the Veterans Restoration Quarters of the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry. The groups hope to raise $50 for each veteran to provide Christmas.
"It's whatever their immediate needs are," Miller said. "It's not like Christmas presents like we're used to. Nobody gets watches or jewelry. Some people need a $40 item, some people need a $70 item."
The aim is to make sure veterans have what they need to make it to the workplace. It could be a coat, hat and gloves. It could be boots, trousers or shirts. "Some of them need underwear," he said.
Miller said that running the fundraiser through HonorAir ensures direct help with no administrative overhead.
"We can account for every penny of how this is spent because I don't issue the check until they've bought the gift," he said. "I can take you back two years ago and show you every dime that came in and how it was spent for veterans."
No donation is too small or too large. HonorAir asks donors to mail the check in a Christmas card so it can share the cards with the veterans. For information contact Kelley Freeman, at or 828.398.6615 or go to the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry website,, or contact Miller of HonorAir at 828-693-7426.
The mailing address is: American Legion Post 77 HonorAir Fund, 423 North King St., Hendersonville, NC 28792.