DAV chapter stands ready to help in case of shutdown

by Peter J. Teagle - Posted on Feb 13, 2019 - 02:44 PM

Photo: Gloucester DAV member Dan Miller, at left, and Post 58 Commander Kevin Farmer have announced that the Post 58 Emergency Relief Fund will be opened to affected personnel for financial relief in case the federal budget agreement does not hold and a partial shutdown begins Friday. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

Gloucester DAV member Dan Miller, at left, and Post 58 Commander Kevin Farmer have announced that the Post 58 Emergency Relief Fund will be opened to affected personnel for financial relief in case the federal budget agreement does not hold and a partial shutdown begins Friday. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

While a tentative agreement in Congress appears to be in place to avoid a second partial government shutdown on Friday, the Gloucester chapter of the Disabled American Veterans stands ready to offer aid to affected active duty and retired military personnel alike.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the power curve here,” said former state commander and current Gloucester DAV member Dan Miller.

“It would be in our best interests to provide service, not only to disabled veterans, but veterans working for the government and contractors who may be furloughed,” said Gloucester DAV Commander Kevin Farmer.

According to the two, “service means a lot of things” but in this case emergency relief will mean financial assistance. The Gloucester DAV chapter has an emergency relief fund that is funded by shared profit from regional DAV thrift stores as well as earmarked donations from the public.

In the past, non-members were offered a lesser amount of aid compared to DAV members; however, Farmer explained that in the case of the shutdown that rule is being waived. Whether someone is a retired Coast Guardsman and active DAV member or a non-member and affected contractor, all affected individuals will be eligible for the same levels of aid.

To receive aid, individuals affected by the shutdown will need to fill out a form so that their case can be assessed for need. “We want to prevent them from having to make the decision: ‘Is it a roof over our head or food on the table,’” said Miller.

The area of service for the Gloucester chapter of the DAV includes Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, King and Queen and Lancaster counties.

Additionally, civilians who wish to aid in this relief can make donations directly to the Emergency Relief Fund by calling 804-695-1558.

Tractor Supply

In addition to these DAV efforts, Gloucester’s Tractor Supply Company has partnered with Bellamy United Methodist Church to collect goods for Coast Guard families in need. Tractor Supply team members and volunteers from the church will collect donations at the Tractor Supply store at the Route 17 location this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 p.m.

Items sought for donation are canned or non-perishable food, pasta, peanut butter, baby wipes, diapers, paper towels, and assorted toiletries. Items will be packed in boxes and delivered to Coast Guard families.