November is normally about remembering those who served in the armed forces, but the local VFW is worried COVID-19 will once again decimate donations that usually flow into their coffers this time of year.
Due to the pandemic, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1949 will be placing red donation boxes outside the local QFC and Safeway for Veterans Day on Nov. 5 through 8.
This is instead of using VFW volunteers, who you normally see dressed to the nines and handing out poppies during their Labor Day and Veterans Day drives.
“We would love to be there to greet you and share your stories, but it is still not safe to do so,” said Post Commander Vincent Fischetti, who made the donation boxes himself.
Fischetti said in a letter to the editor late last August that the VFW receives roughly $10,000 from each of the drives. However, last Labor Day, the VFW only saw about $1,100 in donations come through.
“Our donations are down 90 percent due to COVID-19 virus,” he continued. “I am very sorry to report that we are having trouble maintaining our Lodge. Without financial support we may be forced to sell the post Lodge.”
VFW Post 1949 has been operating on the Plateau since 1934.
Fischetti said the money that is donated to VFW Post 1949 stays in Enumclaw to help with myriad programs, from helping veterans with housing costs and even relocation costs during emergencies to funding the annual Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy scholarship programs, which go to a well-written middle and high schooler respectively every year.
“We help veterans and veterans’ families with medical bills, car repair and many other challenges faced by our heroic veterans,” Fischetti continued. “We make meal deliveries to seniors and veterans not able to get out for themselves. Our funds also help Plateau Outreach Ministries and the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation… without local support many of these needs go unmet.”
Post 1949 Honor Guard provides the military honors for deceased veterans at local cemeteries and at the Tahoma National Cemetery as well.
“We know you have been asked to help in many ways these past months, so any donation is greatly appreciated,” Fischetti said. “Please help us meet these challenges for the community.”
To mail donations to VFW Post 1949, send to: VFW Post 1949, P.O. Box 14, Enumclaw, WA 98022.