Volunteers in Snohomish County collect cold weather gear for veterans

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — With the temperatures getting chillier, folks in Snohomish County are hoping to give veterans in need a hand up.

“Especially those veterans that are homeless and unsheltered facilities and living out on street,” said Gary Walderman.

As a 22-year Air Force vet, Gary Walderman knows firsthand the experience of serving the country and returning home. That’s why he started Hero’s Café with a mission to help veterans.

“Veterans they get out, but they don’t stop serving,” Walderman added.

Walderman partnered with a number of other groups including Homage Senior Services and the City of Lynnwood for “Operation Warm Veterans.” Together, they held a cold weather gear donation drive-thru and collected piles of coats, blankets, gloves - everything you need to stay warm.

“Especially when winter comes around and it’s cold and people are outside. There aren’t any shelters in south county,” said Mary-Anne Grafton with the city of Lynnwood.

All of the donations will be distributed to other agencies in the county. The need is greater than ever.

“With COVID, with everything happening. A lot of donations and folks that are in need are slipping through the cracks,” said Ramonda Sosa with Homage Senior Services.

But through their drive, they aim to ensure that those who served know they haven’t been forgotten.

If you know of a Veteran in need, please send your information or referral to Gary Walderman at americanheroscafe@gmail.com.