In a statewide initiative to support the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home during the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland officials and residents have gathered over $5,000 worth of supplies for those residing at the home, and donated them Monday morning.
On behalf of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, the Maryland General Assembly Veteran’s Caucus, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Del. Mike Rogers (D-Anne Arundel) spearheaded the effort to collect toiletries for the veterans residing at the assisted-living care facility.
According to a May 1 press release from the state’s black caucus, “These veterans who have honorably served the nation are some of the most vulnerable during this crisis and with protocols in place to limit exposure, they are unable to physically meet with family.”
On Monday, Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s), who is also a member of the veterans caucus, said a SignUpGenius page was set up where people could sign up to donate specific items, based on a list provided by the veterans home.
Over the weekend, he and some other members of the veterans caucus and the black caucus drove for a total of 12 hours around the state, picking up the donations, which were left outside peoples’ homes, he said.
“A large portion of the donations are from St. Mary’s County,” Crosby mentioned, adding, the county “really stepped up” during this time of need.
“This is an opportunity to give back to those who gave to us,” Rogers said on Monday before the formal donation. “I’m honored to be here today.”
Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), chair of the black caucus, said on Monday the large pull of supplies demonstrates the “spirit of collaboration at its best” and through the leadership of Rogers, they were able to make a difference.
“I’m totally happy and pleased we were able to help so many people,” he said.
Ashley Radano, director of recreational services at the veterans home, met delegates outside the main entrance of the facility to accept the donations.
“It’s absolutely extraordinary to see the state come together to support the veterans home,” she said, adding the toiletries will be sent to the “commander’s closet” within the facility, where veterans home residents can get what they need, when they need it, at no cost.