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Ardmore veterans receive gifts from Ardmore church

Sierra Rains
Members of the First Presbyterian Church in Ardmore passed out goody bags to veterans at the Ardmore Veterans Center on Wednesday.

A local church put together 170 goody bags and distributed them to veterans at the Ardmore Veterans Center as a way to show thanks their service. 

While some Veterans Day celebrations went on, many were cancelled this year due to COVID-19, including the Ardmore Veterans Center's annual Veterans Day program, .

The pandemic has resulted in many months of isolation for several veterans and First Presbyterian Church minister Craig King said he felt it was especially important to show veterans support this year. 

“We have a couple members who are out there and we can’t even go see them,” King said. “They’ve been isolated for good reasons and I think that fueled us quite a bit.” 

King and other members from the church visited the Ardmore Veterans Center on Veterans Day, which is observed annually on Nov. 11, to pass on the gift bags. 

The church received a lot of support for its project, with multiple individuals from across state lines chipping in to help. King said one individual all the way from Tennessee reached out to ask how he could help after the church made a post about the project on social media. 

“It was really neat how just putting a little, simple thing on Facebook saying ‘this is what we want to do’ and all of the sudden we’re flooded with help, which is a good thing,” King said. “To me, that’s what ministry is all about.”

People either helped by donating money or stuffing the bags, and within a couple of weeks the church had 170 bags stuffed with stocking caps for each veteran at the Ardmore Veterans Center. Some bags had the word ‘honor’ on them and others the word ‘valor’. 

“The people who helped were just fabulous. It turned out to be a really good project for our church to do, but also to involve people outside of our church,” King said. “It’s not just about me or about this church, it’s about a lot of different people coming together to serve a purpose.” 

King said veterans hold a special place in his heart because he has veterans in his own family. To him, it is important to let veterans know that their service to their country mattered and little acts of appreciation can go a long way. 

“We just thought it was important to remind them that we thank them for their service,” King said. “Especially the people in Korea and Vietnam, they’re often forgotten.”