Jan Thompson has been delivering cookies to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for 14 years. The Vergennes Township resident heads up an annual cookie drive that coincides with Veterans Day, and it will take place again this Saturday, November 9.
Area residents are invited to bring homemade cookies or other supplies that will be delivered to veterans later that day. Thompson and other volunteers will be at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building from 10am-12pm to collect donations. The building is located at 3116 Alden Nash Ave. SE, about a half mile south of the Lowell Charter Township Hall.
Cookies and Other Supplies Needed
At one time, Thompson delivered as many as 4,000 cookies to the Veterans Home. “Grand Volute was making a thousand cookies,” she remembers. “Backwater was making hundreds of cookies.”
That was when 600 people lived at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Today, only about 200 veterans are in residence at the facility, and only 600 cookies – three apiece – are needed. However, other donations are being accepted as well.
Specifically, the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans has requested the following:
- 600 cookies – Homemade cookies are encouraged, but anything with peanuts or peanut butter must be packaged separately and clearly marked. Donations will be packaged three to a bag by volunteers.
- 3-blade disposable razors
- Non-alcoholic mouthwash
- Body wash for men or women
- K-cups for coffee, tea or hot chocolate that can be made with Keurig Coffee Makers
In the past, the home would also take donations of knitted hats, lap blankets, games, puzzles and other items. However, due to limited storage space during a renovation, they are unable to accept them this year. Thompson doesn’t want that to stop anyone from donating those items if they have them.
“There are ladies I know who have been knitting all year,” she says. “If they bring anything else, I will get them to veterans. They may not be at the Veterans Home, but I will find veterans for them.”
Bringing a Smile to Those Who Have Served
As a senior, Thompson is realistic about her abilities. “I can’t build a house,” she says. “I can’t build a ramp.” But she can deliver cookies.
It’s a way to bring a little sweetness into the lives of veterans who have sacrificed so much for the country. This Veterans Day, all Lowell residents are invited to be part of spreading that good cheer by bringing their donations to the VFW building on Saturday between 10am and 12pm.
At 12pm, Thompson will load up waiting vehicles and deliver items to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans with the message that they are from Lowell with love.