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Veterans' Alliance helps man with holiday buying

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Steve Woodside, left, Armstrong Veterans Alliance, Sean Taladay, Mechling Shakley Veterans Center Director, Jon Matthews, Center resident, and Frank White, Armstrong Veterans Alliance, loading up on toys and games at Walmart. Matthews was presented a gift card from the Alliance to buy gifts for his children. He will be going home on a furlough for Christmas.

The Armstrong Veterans' Alliance, founded in April, is dedicated to supporting local veterans in need. Thanks to generous donations from various clubs and civic organizations, a resident of the Mechling Shakley Veterans Center in Sugarcreek will be able to share Christmas cheer with his family.

On Friday, center resident Jon Matthews was presented with a Wal-Mart gift card to buy Christmas presents for his children. Matthews will be on a three-day furlough to visit his family this week. Friday morning, Matthews, along with Center director Sean Talady, met with two members of the Alliance, Frank White and Steve Woodside, to receive his gift card and select gifts from the toy department.

“We depend on donations from various groups and use whatever we receive to help veterans with any need they may have,” said Woodside, a retired Army veteran.

White, also an Army veteran, said veterans are selected on a case-by-case basis and their needs are met depending on resources available.

“We learned that Mr. Matthews was going on a holiday furlough but did not have the resources to buy gifts for his children. So we decided to help him out,” White said.

Woodside added that any veteran willing to work for other veterans is welcome to be a part of the Armstrong Veterans' Alliance. For more information, contact Woodside at 724-859-8585.

Tom Mitchell is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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