The United States Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a study in 2018 and found that there can be 37,000 homeless military veterans on any given night across the US.
Members of the Great Falls chapter of the United States Veterans Motorcycle Club (USVMC) would love to end veteran homelessness, but they know it’s a hard task. However, they were doing the next best thing on Veterans Day this year: donating clothes, money, and sanitary products to local vets in need.
Andy Franks, the president of the Great Falls chapter, said for 3KRTV that the club does this every year.
Along with several other members of the club, Franks stood outside of both Walmart stores in Great falls, despite the cold weather. They were focused on collecting donations for the vets in need all day.
Franks said he chooses not to mind the cold weather or the number of cars that never stopped at his “Donations for Homeless Vets” sign. Instead, he focused on the people who were willing to help.
“It’s the positives, I guess, of wanting to do stuff for the community and wanting to do stuff for vets,” he said for 3KRTV. “We’re all veterans, so we’re just giving back. I just like to have a good time, too, just like these guys as well, so.”
The donations on Veterans Day is the most important event of the season for this motorcycle club, but it’s not the only charity event they organize. A club member also said that the Great Falls hockey team has donated tickets to the motorcycle club and that the members were planning on either giving the tickets away or auctioning them so they would raise funds for the cause.
“We’re a Veterans Motorcycle Club, we’re here out of Great Falls, but we’re a national club,” Franks said. “There’s a lot of veteran’s clubs around, but this is one thing that we do. The other clubs around town do all kinds of stuff. It’s not just, ‘See us up riding up and down the roads,’ we’re out here freezing trying to get stuff for the Grace Home.”
Check out the video report from 3KRTV!