AMES, Iowa — The doors may be closed, but the Ames American Legion family is hard at work keeping the lights on. As they find a way to pay their own bills, this group of veterans is still helping veterans.
On Wednesday, a line of cars begins to form outside the Legion Hall on Main Street. While it’s burgers this time, volunteers have also served up tenderloins, chicken and noodles and ham balls. Of course, it’s more than just the food that keeps people coming back for curbside pickup every week.
“I believe in supporting the Legion. I’m a good Legion member,” said one member.
With the post closed, the money isn’t coming in.
“The bills are still coming in. Gotta keep the lights on and the mortgage paid,” said Sandy Deacon from American Legion Post 37.
The challenge of paying the bills didn’t get in the way of their mission of helping veterans.
“We needed help and boy, did people show up. They started donating right away,” said Aimee Deimerly-Snyder, Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Iowa Veterans Home.
“We had heard that their vending machine had been empty because the vendors are not approved to go stock them,” explained Rachel Breyfogle from American Legion Post 37.
The post sent out a call for help. Members collected a cache of candy bars, snacks and other treats for the veterans in Marshalltown.
“It really does bring tears to the eye almost of how much people think about our residents, think about our veterans. And it really does make a difference knowing people are thinking about them,” said Deimerly-Snyder.
“It tugs my heart, too. I have a couple of veterans in my family and that is the mission also of the Auxiliary. We are here to serve our veterans,” Breyfogle said.
Their shared mission of serving veterans is bringing their Legion family together while they remain apart.
“We’ll keep doing it. As long as there’s a need,” said Deacon, “We are going to make it through this.”
You can order your meal for curbside pickup from the Ames Legion on Wednesday. The group is also holding another collection for the Iowa Veterans Homes. Anything chocolate is always welcome. More information is on the Ames Legion’s Facebook page.