The Results are in... 450 Boxes! This is the number of Christmas shoebox gifts the Little Rock Civitan club helped with last Christmas. The program was started in 2015 by Nancy Brant of Little Rock, AR. Her husband was a Veteran and is now deceased. She realized how many shoeboxes she had around her home and what a nice little gift that would make to local men and women that have served our country. We take a shoebox and fill it with things like magazines, toiletries, deck of cards, magnifying glasses, and fun things for veterans to do. Put a Christmas card in the box, thank them for their service and wrap the boxes with Christmas paper. Simple and the average cost of most boxes is between $10 - $12. The first year Nancy delivered 75 Christmas shoeboxes to our local Veterans Hospital. These shoeboxes also were delivered to several homeless Veterans. Her goal for 2016 was to double her previous year and deliver 150 shoeboxes. I learned of this effort and brought it to the attention of the Little Rock Civitan Club. We got involved and with the help of local business organizations and churches, 450 wrapped shoeboxes of gifts were delivered. It took a caravan of eight SUVs and trucks to carry them to the VA Hospital. Jr. ROTC members had to be called out to help. Most of the Veterans are in their senior years and have no families for love and support. These Christmas surprises lifted them up and let them know that someone, somewhere, remembered and cared. I must say that joy overwhelmed most of us that personally delivered boxes to these Veterans and I shed many tears of happiness to see the smiles on their faces. This project is very simple and low cost. Civitan clubs everywhere can get involved. Simply contact your local VA Hospital or VA center and ask how to get involved. I will personally be glad to help your local chapter. Civitan would not exist as we know it today if it was not for our Veterans that worked for our freedom. I have only been a Civitan member for about 11 months now and I must say that I am â€œVery Proudâ€? to be part of Civitan and honored to be the President-Elect of such a wonderful Civitan Chapter.
Civitan International & The City of Greenville Honor Clergy Greenville Civitan held its Clergy Appreciation Day on February 6, in honor of the four chaplains who selflessly gave up their life jackets when the USS Dorchester sank in the icy North Atlantic waters on February 3, 1943. Guest speaker, Patrick P. Doney is a retired US Navy Chaplain. Originally from Southern California, Doney came to Greenville in 1953 and received his degree in 1956 from the Bob Jones University School of Theology. He is celebrating his 50 years of ordination. Having been a US Navy chaplain for 20 years, he has also ministered within the Federal and State prison systems. He was present during the Iranian takeover of the US Embassy while stationed at the Gulf of Hormuz. All military chaplains must have military orthodoxy and be endorsed by the Associated Gospel Churches organization. The organization was founded by Dr. W.O.H. Garman in 1937, and has been recognized by the Department of Defense since 1939. AGC chaplains serve all branches of the military, and Federal and State Correctional Systems. The DOD originally requested
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ten clergy; then ten more; the requests grew, and the need for military clergy became evident. The needs during the World Wars necessitated the expansion and were a catalyst for growth. Military clergy represent different doctrines. The commonality is that anyone going into the clergy should have a divine call to minister and believe strongly in that call. He stated that the nation subscribes to "Judeo-Christian values" and every chaplain should value and adhere to those principles. Greenville Civitan held a memorable Clergy Appreciation program headed and organized by Chairperson, Sam Bennett and committee members; Jean Aldridge, Dot Ray and Frankie Sloan. In recognition of our Greenville Clergy, Mayor Knox H. White proclaimed the week of February 5 as Clergy Appreciation Week in the City of Greenville on behalf of the City Council and its citizens. The proclamation was read by Jean Aldridge. Another highlight of the program was a video of USS Dorchester Survivor Army Sgt. Ernest Heaton, giving his account of his experience aboard the doomed vessel. Heaton was 19 when the Army troop transport ship was sunk by a German U-boat. He was among 230 men who survived the sinking, in which another 672 died. Heaton was one of the last survivors. Heaton and fellow veteran Larry Wapnick began promoting the story of the Four Chaplains as an example of interfaith action.
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