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Volunteer Group to Donate Blankets, Christmas Cards to Veterans PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Contact Van Arnold, 601.266.5568   
Kimberly Brown has a warm spot in her heart for veterans and wants to convey that cozy appreciation by donating blankets and Christmas cards to Mississippi servicemen and women during this holiday season.

Brown is administrative assistant in the Office of Curriculum Instruction and Special Education in the REACH MS office at The University of Southern Mississippi. She is also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group that includes approximately 1,000 Mississippi members and more than 255,000 nationwide. The Patriot Guard Riders provide escort duty for soldiers’ deployment festivities and funerals, while raising money throughout the year to assist needy veterans.

With help from area Patriot Guard Riders, Brown collected enough money to buy 300 fleece blankets that will be distributed to the Collins State Veterans Home on Dec. 5 and the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Jackson on Dec. 12.

“My father was a Vietnam veteran who passed away two years ago, and after he was diagnosed with cancer he always loved having his fleece blanket with him,” said Brown. “So I came up with the idea of getting fleece blankets for the veterans living in those two facilities. I think it’s a perfect way to show the warmth we have for them and hope that it brings them comfort as the service they’ve given our great country continues to give each of us.”

But the giving doesn’t stop there. Brown also hopes to gather an equal number of unused Christmas cards that will be presented to the veterans along with the blankets.

“At my house we have several cards left over from last year and I’m sure there are lots of people in the same situation,” she said. “We’re hoping to get enough donations to have a Christmas card for each of the veterans during the trips up there.”

Brown, whose son Christopher Street completed two tours in Iraq (2003-04 and 2005-06) as a nuclear biological warfare specialist, said the cards will contain contact information concerning the Patriot Guard Riders as well as news about military personnel on active duty. The ultimate goal is to connect veterans living in the Collins and Jackson homes with deployed soldiers in a pen-pal format.

Anyone wishing to donate cards can contact Brown at 601-266-4693. For more information about the Patriot Guard Riders visit www.patriotguard.org or www.pgrofms.org

AboutThe University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu
                                                            
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