East Caln, Chester County – With holiday music from the Coatesville Area High School Band, the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), the Summerfield Homeowner’s Association, and elected officials delivered over 1,500 holiday gifts for the patients and residents at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
TMACC, manager of the Coatesville LINK, loaded two buses with gifts they’ve been collecting for veterans in hopes to make their holidays better. For the third consecutive year, TMACC collected gifts for both the Coatesville VA Medical Center and the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC), a non-profit organization which offers supportive services to veterans families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
The VMC partners with the VA Medical Center to help end homelessness among veterans with their Permanent Housing Program. This year, the VMC projects to house over 90 homeless veterans. The majority of the gifts collected during the drive go to the vets who are getting a fresh start. While other smaller, personal gifts go to the patients at the VA Medical Center.
Last year, TMACC collected over 700 gifts. This year, they doubled that number thanks to the help and support of their community and members. “Our members and colleagues are very supportive of our endeavors,” said Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC. “Whether it’s a toaster oven, a set of dishes, or even a small lap blanket the gifts donated help make someone’s life brighter.”
Phelps also acknowledged TMACC staff member, Betty Shaw, who started the drive at TMACC three years ago and continues to grow the event. “Betty is the driving force behind this gift drive, without her or the help of her generous neighbors at Summerfield we would not be able to do this event,” said Phelps.
Rep. Harry Lewis Jr. (R-Chester) was in attendance with Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester), Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Montgomery/Chester) and Representative Elect Eric Roe (R-Chester) to help with the delivery of the gifts. “Seeing all these gifts really gets you excited. Our veterans often get overlooked; it’s great to see such a flourishing program that helps our vets,” said Rep. Lewis.
The Coatesville LINK runs from Parkesburg to Coatesville, Monday through Saturday, with one of their major stops located at the VA Medical Center. Many veterans who participate in the Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs use the Coatesville LINK to get to jobs, and other obligations in the community.
ChescoBus’s Coatesville LINK is primarily funded by the Commissioners of Chester County and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The Veteran’s Gift Drive is managed through TMACC’s Foundation, FIT. For more information on donation events and opportunities, contact TMACC.