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Photo by Diane Cox
Shaffer says he was shocked when he was given a $2,800 donation from Hubener. Shaffer thought he was picking up a few boxes of donated items for soldiers.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Madison County Association for Home and Community Education Roxana Chapter members stand with Hope for Heroes Mid-West Coordinator Chip Shaffer with their donation of goods to be sent to soldiers.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Chapter president Vy Hubener gives Shaffer a check for $2,800 raised at an Oct. 2 quarter auction fundraiser.
ROXANA — Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve in the armed forces and a Roxana women’s group answered the call.
Members of the Madison County Association for Home and Community Education Roxana Chapter strive to be better wives, mothers and homemakers through education and examples of community service.
Group members decided their next fundraising event would benefit wounded veterans and current service personnel. After searching through services for veterans, the group chose Hope for Heroes as the beneficiary of their efforts.
“We found that so many wounded veterans groups only give 75 or 80 cents of every dollar to the veterans and service members,” Virginia Walls of Roxana said. “We learned that the HFH organization puts 100 percent of every dollar to work where it belongs — the soldiers. We wanted to go with the program that would provide the most impact to our military personnel and give them the relief they need.”
The group organized a quarter auction at the Rox-Arena Friday, Oct. 2, and accepted donations of items ranging from reusable water bottles, backpacks and spices to board games, puzzle books and silly string. The women put together more than half a dozen boxes of needed items and raised $2,800 in cash to donate for shipping costs.
“I laughed when I saw that a box of silly string was donated, until I found out the military’s use for it,” club President Vy Huebner said. “I learned the silly string was used to help locate mines and trip wires. It wasn’t a toy to these soldiers; it was a life-saving tool.”
Hope for Heroes Mid-West Coordinator Chip Shaffer knows all too well the importance of his work. His son served in Afghanistan and lost his right leg in a grenade attack on his vehicle.
“He has also benefited from the HFH program,” Shaffer said. “I came here knowing they had some items to donate, but I had no idea they had raised that kind of money. I’m speechless. Everything they’ve done — so many will benefit from it. I was so shocked.”
Epsilon Sigma Alpha, the parent organization of Hope for Heroes, has been providing support to military personnel and their families since World War II. After the war, Epsilon Sigma Alpha chapters were organized near military bases and among military families whose membership kept them connected as they moved to new assignments throughout the world.
“Every cent and every item collected goes straight to our soldiers,” Shaffer said. “I’ve visited military hospitals in my region and sometimes the only thing these guys bring home is the backpack that we sent them. That’s it. Our volunteers cover the cost of our printings, picking up donated items and even repair motorized wheelchairs or build ramps. None of the money collected pays for anyone’s service or administrative costs; it’s all volunteer.”
Women interested in joining the Madison County Association for Home and Community Education-Roxana Chapter can call Vy Hubener at (618) 972-2810. Meetings are the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Rox-Arena. For information, visit www.iahce.org.
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