Ways to help veterans in need


The Ritz Historic Inn is shown on East Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted September 14, 2022 | By Ocala Gazette staff

Too many parents experience the stress of not being able to provide clothing and school supplies for their children. Add to that the grief experienced during the holidays, a time when children go without gifts, and the loving support of families remains either a distant dream or a memory.

These challenges are doubled by military vets who made sacrifices for our freedoms and cannot afford to make ends meet due to PTSD and other factors.

To get ahead on helping those who will need it the most during the fall/winter season, you can donate materials to the Ocala Ritz Reserve Apartments, a low-income housing community owned and operated by the Volunteers of America of Florida.

The complex houses newly independent Veterans and their families, and they currently have six families with underage children (a total of 16 children.) Newly purchased, unopened school supplies, toys and gifts for the children for Christmas are now being accepted.

The following items will help unhoused veterans who are temporarily residing at the Ritz, both when they arrive and during their transition towards independence.

Items needed include new pillows, men’s Socks, underwear and T-shirts; twin-size bedsheets, pillowcases, comforters towels (bath and face), shower curtains, bath mats, coffee pots, coffee; non-perishable foods, especially ready or easy-to-make meals such as canned ravioli, canned spaghetti, ramen noodles, tuna, canned chicken, canned fruit, macaroni and cheese), saltines, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, bottled water and tea.

Also needed are microwaves (no larger than 800 to 1100 watts), small refrigerators (2.7 cubic feet) and TVs, laundry detergent, antennas, paper towels and toilet paper.

Consider, in addition, donating  $25 Gift Cards to Wal-Mart (for Veterans entering the program without money to purchase food), Save-A-Lot (for Veterans entering the program without money to purchase food or personal items) or   Sun Tran Bus passes for entering Veterans without income.

For more information, call (352) 414-3011 or visit www.facebook.com/VOAFL|www.twitter.com@VOAFLA|CFC#38737.