Hundreds of items collected for formerly homeless veterans

The Homeward Vets Association held a furniture drive Saturday morning

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Homeward Vets donation drive took place in Westfield Saturday morning to help veterans who were once homeless to furnish their new homes.

Steven Connor, one of the organizers of the drive, said “Of course if they’ve been homeless, and especially if it’s been years, they don’t have household goods, they don’t have furniture, they don’t have beds”.

The donation drive took place at Westfield’s Stanley Park, and provided hundreds of home goods to help formerly homeless vets turn their houses into homes.

Connor said “They’ve already been isolated because of the homelessness, and having furnishings and all of that kind of stuff is what gives it that home touch so that they feel like they belong”.

Diane Zanolli donated glasses, pots and pans and a coffee maker. She said her husband would have been proud to see the good the donation drive was doing.

“He lost his legs in Vietnam, and I think he would be very happy that we’re not forgetting about the vets. Our veterans deserve things to get themselves started and back and know that we’re still caring about them and we haven’t forgotten them” Zanolli said.

The Homeward Vets association was joined by volunteers from the local Elks Lodge and Keller Williams Realty. The organization helps around 100 veterans furnish their new homes every year.

Heather Heeb, a volunteer Saturday morning, said “Dishes, silverware, we have china, lamps, couches, We got a lot of couches. But microwaves seem to be the big thing. We already filled up one truck in a little over an hour, so we’re on two more hours left and we already have a truck sitting here waiting”.

The organization helps provide both furniture and food. They collect cash donations to put towards grocery gift cards for the veterans.

The items collected Saturday will be taken to the Homeward Vets warehouse in Ludlow, where veterans will be able to pick out the perfect items for their new place.