When a soldier serves abroad, their entire family serves with them. When a soldier gives the ultimate sacrifice, their entire family sacrifices, as well.
As a means to help those who have parents abroad, or who have lost parents to wars, the VFW has created the VFW National Home for Children.
As a means of maintaining the home, the VFW, in partnership with Bob Evans, recently held a fundraiser.
Pictured, from left, Marcello Rotunda, Dan Kell, Paul Holthouse and Bob Walton are shown at Bob Evans in Jamestown to promote a fundraiser for the VFW National Home for Children.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
"This home is for veterans' children under the age of 18 whose parents are either serving and need someone to look after them or children who have lost their parents in the service," said Juanita Holthouse. "They receive no government funding at all. This home/campus is located in Eaton Rapids, Mich. and several states sponsor a home. New York has two homes it sponsors."
As a way to help the VFW's National Home for Children, Bob Evans recently donated 15 percent of every meal ticket to the VFW when customers brought in the appropriate flyer.
During the fundraiser, a group of VFW members gathered at the Bob Evans in Jamestown. Members of this group included: Donna and Robert Walton, Dan Kell, Marcello Rotunda, Juanita and Paul Holthouse, and Beth Ecker.
"This is an opportunity for the community to come in and contribute to this cause," said Juanita Holthouse.
"The National Home was established in 1925, in Michigan," said Robert Walton. "This is one of many fundraisers we do for the home. Additionally, we sell bricks and pins, which people can buy in remembrance of those who have served. The home has several programs for veterans' families. If a veteran is overseas, their wife and children can live at the home if they have nowhere else to go, or if a child is an orphan as a result of their parents dying while serving, they can live there until they graduate from college."
However, the VFW National Home for Children is more than a residence for those who have nowhere else to go. If a family comes to the home, any adults in that family that do not have a high school education are required to obtain one. Additionally, the home will help those adults achieve that goal.
"For children who don't have parents, the home will help put those children through college," said Walton. "It's a lot to undertake, and since we receive no government funding, we appreciate it when institutions such as Bob Evans help us out with fundraisers."
"For me, it's the children," said Angi Burns, manager at Bob Evans. "It's a lot to handle for children with parents overseas, so that's why I'm proud to see the restaurant help out with this fundraiser. (Paul and Juanita Holthouse) are my regular customers, plus I have a child of my own and family in the military, so those are all great reasons to want to participate in fundraising."
In addition to the Jamestown location, the Dunkirk and Warren Bob Evans restaurants also participated in the fundraiser.
Residents who were not able to participate in the fundraiser at Bob Evans, but would still like to contribute to the VFW National Home for Children may do so by visiting www.vfwnationalhome.org.