Military groups seek community donations | NevadaAppeal.com

Military groups seek community donations

Military organizations that honor veterans or help children are facing some shortfalls this month beginning with Wreaths Across America.

Although the national program to lay wreaths at veterans' gravesites started in 1992, the program at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley began in 2007 with 28 wreaths and a crowd that numbered about 50.

The number of wreaths has steadily increased since that time, but donations are down this year.

Hundreds of wreaths still are needed for this year's event, which is Dec. 16. Wreaths were placed on every memorial at NNVMC last year, and more than 1,000 people attended the one-hour ceremony, which coincided with the laying of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery at noon, Eastern Time.

Over the years, the importance of Wreaths Across America is second only to Memorial Day observances.

The Nevada Veterans Coalition in Fernley has been involved in the Wreaths Across America project for a decade. In its first year, the NVC purchased 40 wreaths from the donations received from the community.

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The NVC and hundreds of volunteers placed thousands of wreaths on veterans' graves during the 2016 ceremony, and any excess was given to neighboring cemeteries for their veterans' gravesites.

A donation of $15 purchases one wreath, and individuals may access the NVC website at http://supportnnvc.org.

The Northern Nevada All Veteran Honor Guard, which is not affiliated with the NVC, must repair its van in order to continue transporting veterans to appointments or transport honor guard members to military funerals.

As of Monday, the organization said the cost to repair its van to make road worthy is in the neighborhood of $3,500. The total cost to repair the major problems is about $15,000.

The veterans' group serves a large area from central Nevada to northeastern California by transporting veterans to appointments in Reno from as far away as Hawthorne and Susanville, Calif.

The honor guard recently established a GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/VeteransFinalHonors.

For additional information, contact Jim Jackson, who lives in Dayton, at 209-740-5627.

Time is of the essence for both projects administered by the honor guard organizations.

Volunteers with the United State Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program will be out Saturday with a truck parked at the Fallon Walmart. The Toys for Tots crew will continue to ask for toys until distribution week that begins in a few weeks.

Collection boxes have been placed at many businesses in the Fallon-Fernley area, and has been the practice during previous years, toys will be distributed to youngsters in Fallon, Fernley, Silver Springs and Gabbs.

For more information on the local Toys for Tots program, contact Kellie Kalista at 775-294-9335 orkelliehorn@outlook.com.

According to the mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, the Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during a three-month span each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The local Toys for Tots program has been promoting its toy drive since the summer with booths set up at various events.

LVN editorials appear on Wednesdays.