Through the entire month of December, from Newburyport to Haverhill and beyond, the community came together to honor our veterans this holiday season.
Through the efforts of Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, more than 500 fleece roll blankets were collected, and Battle Grounds Coffee Company collected more than 1,000 stuffed Christmas stockings. The gifts were distributed across the entire state and handed out at last Thursday’s Veterans Christmas Party in Haverhill.
Multiple organizations and community members truly turned out and made this Christmas a special one for the veteran community. Veterans’ organizations such as Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, AmVets Post 147 and Haverhill VFW Lorraine Post 29 organized a Christmas Party which served more than 200 meals to veterans and their families.
The Christmas Party was supported by several organizations and members of the community. Special thanks to Helen Sheehan, Eammon’s Heart, who designed and created all the centerpieces and Veteran Northeast Outreach Center for donating brand new hoodies. Christmas stockings were handed out to veterans by Santa Claus.
Additional help and support came from Disabled American Veterans Chapter 20, Marine Corps League, Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 294, Disabled and Limbless Veterans, Middlesex County Deputy Sheriffs Association, Middlesex Deputy Sheriffs Association, Winchester Knights of Columbus Council 210, Market Basket and Pastor Mark Rivera of Riverside Church.
The meal was sponsored by the Fusco family in memory and honor of Anthony J. Fusco. Additional donations came from Haverhill Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, American Legion Post 211 and community members.
Middleton Veteran Service Officer Gary Bent and Ipswich Veteran Service Officer Karen Tyler stopped by to show their support. Tyler also took an additional 25 takeout meals and Christmas stockings from the event and delivered them to veterans in her district.
Christmas party entertainment was carried out by Daniel Clark, the “Singing Trooper,” who had the room rocking. Veterans were singing and enjoying a truly amazing and heartfelt performance.
As a veteran myself, I’m highly touched by the entire Merrimack Valley, all that happened to our veterans this holiday season. To everyone who supported our veterans one way or another, thank you!
To our veterans and their families, my God bless you, and may God bless America.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!