East Whiteland, Chester County – This morning, the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), the Ascot Summerfield Homeowner’s Association, Chester County Commissioners Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell, and U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey (D-PA) dropped off over 700 holiday gifts for the patients and residents at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
TMACC, manager of the Coatesville LINK, loaded two buses worth of the gifts they’ve been collecting for veterans in hopes to make their holiday better. This year, TMACC collected gifts for both the Coatesville VA Medical Center and the Veterans Multi-Service Center, a non-profit organization which offers supportive services to veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
The VMC helps to end homelessness among veterans with their rapid re-housing project. Due to the demand, items to help make veterans’ transitions smoother are always in need. “Some of them come to us with nothing,” said Deputy Executive Director of the VMC, Maura “Mo” Gillen. “Gifts like the ones we’re receiving today go a long way to make an empty apartment into a new home.”
Last year, TMACC collected over 200 gifts. This year, they tripled that number thanks to the help and support of their community and members. “Our members and colleagues are very supportive of our endeavors. We had faith we were going to reach our goal of 500 gifts, but we didn’t know we would exceed it by so much, so quickly. We really appreciate the enthusiasm our members bring to causes like these,” said Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC.
Senator Casey was there as well to give his support. “On a day like today, we remember what their sacrifice has been on our behalf. I’m honored to be a part of this.”
VA Residents, Ed Scheib and Mike Owens were there also to receive the gifts and were thankful for the support. “I feel like when I do get out, I’ll have a good start and can complete my life. With the help of the VA and everything that was donated I feel like I have a fighting chance,” said Owens.
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. TMACC started this event as a way to say thank you to the veterans.
Coatesville LINK funding is provided by the Commissioners of Chester County and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.