Donate, Give, Share
with Veterans in need.
TOTAL CARD COUNT
as of 5/19/13
Thank you to everyone who donated and thanked a veteran in the way of a free meal.
Welcome to the
"Veterans Gift Card Project"
The year is 1971. Randy Davis is a United States Army payroll clerk in Germany during the Vietnam War. During this tour Randy met another soldier from his small hometown of Dunkirk, Indiana, named Larry.
They remained close friends until Larry's passing on April 16, 2012. Larry had Lou Gehrig's Disease and Randy helped by taking him to medical appointments at the Marion VA Hospital.
While waiting for Larry, Randy began talking with other Veterans and listening to their stories. It was on one of these visits that Randy visited the rec room/day room at the Marion VA Hospital. He saw Veterans with missing limbs and obvious needs. He felt their pain. He knew he was looking at heroes, many who had been forgotten and abandoned. He didn't leave the campus that day just wanting to do more for Veterans. He felt compelled and determined to do more.
The campaign started here.
"The idea of suggesting it to my Facebook friends came to my mind and heart. So as a result, social media became the approach."
Randy began soliciting $5 McDonald's gift cards on Facebook with the goal to get 150 five-dollar McDonalds gift cards. It's meeting the people and hearing the stories like the one from an 11 year-old girl who sent him a McDonald's gift card with a note: "Thank all you Veterans for keeping us safe" that keeps him going.
Names immediately started rolling in. He asked for branch of military service, years served, where stationed, and any interesting side stories. He has received stories of POW's, MIA's, KIA's, Active Duty, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, Coast Guard. Those who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm/Shield, Afghanistan, Stateside and other places. In three months during 2011 the "Project" amassed over 2,000 cards from 16 different states and Canada. Each card means a free meal for a Veteran and almost all are donated "in honor of" or "in memory of" someone.
The 2011 campaign ended December 18, 2011. Randy took all the gift cards to the VA Hospital in Marion, Indiana for distribution to VA patients, homeless veterans, those in small groups, those receiving counseling and others . His efforts have inspired many.
Randy gives God the credit for his campaign's success and knows that without its many supporters and contributors the "Project" would not work. What inspires Randy to keep going? The fact that there are many unsung heroes who deserve a tangible "Thank You" and a pat on the back for their service to our country. He also wants to be able to share a "cup of cold water in the name of Jesus" with as many veterans as possible. However, in the place of cold water he is using a "Big Mac, fries and a large drink."
"My life has been filled with so much good that I know it must be shared", says Pastor Davis. Proverbs 31:8-9 says: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Interview and article by Tresia Odle7