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How to help H.E.R.O.E.S. Care this holiday season

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Posted at 9:38 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 10:38:26-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As we approach the holidays, organizations have been working hard to try and meet the increased demand for families who need assistance.

President of H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, Jon Jerome, said the pandemic has added an extra layer of problems as they work to help military families.

"It's also given us another layer of, how do we get past that problem," Jerome said. "Meaning, instead of us having our food pantries open from veterans, we've had to do drive by."

Jerome said COVID-19 has also made it more difficult for veterans to get new jobs.

"Our job placement program has been down in the job placement area," he said.

The organization is busy all year long, doing what they can to assist military families, including with preparations for the holidays.

However, their usual Christmas program will look a little different.

"Normally we are adopting a family Christmas program," Jerome said. "We would hand a family off to a business, and then the business would adopt them and bring the toys or invite them to the business. This year we're having to have to put all the toys into a segregated area and then either have the families come here or we bring it directly out to the families, so it's more labor-intensive."

While it's been a difficult few months pivoting, Jerome said it's heartwarming when those needs are fulfilled.

"I tell people, spend a day and you'll find a miracle that happens every day," Jerome said.

He said while funding has been down, he's still seeing the progress.

"It's the struggles that every charity has," Jerome said. "And you just struggle through, but you know every single person that you're helping. And that you're, you're, you're changing that one part of their life."

Right now, the organization is asking for monetary donations. A donation of $10 will provide 100 pounds of food for military families.

They're also looking for volunteers to assist in their six food pantries.

Jerome said the one thing he asks people to do when they see a veteran, is to just thank them.

"Our military men and women are still serving and deploying overseas," Jerome said. "It's still a civilian leaving their job for a year, leaving their family and deploy. That's civilians. That is the act of duty. When you get an opportunity to stop someone in uniform, buy him that lunch."

For more information about the organization, visit their website.