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Coat drive honors late Joe Dunham

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    Joe E. Dunham

Two words that should never be used in a sentence together: homeless veterans. And yet, the epidemic continues.

It is estimated that over 37,000 veterans are experiencing or have experienced homelessness. On the same night, over 20,000 of the veterans counted were unsheltered or living on the street. Veteran issues are slowly, but surely, gaining the much-needed attention to help veterans in need.

One Boerne family is determined to meet the needs of the homeless veterans in the Hill Country. What started out as a way to honor the life of the late Joe E. Dunham of Boerne in 2016 by hosting a clothing drive for the American G.I. Forum in San Antonio at Christmas has turned into a yearly event.

Residents from across Kendall County stop by Boerne Boot and Hide and Of a Muse to drop off donations of clothing, non-perishable food items, toiletries and gift cards.

This year, the clothing drive spanned from Dec. 1 to 22 in the parking lot at Old Towne in front of the two stores.

Patrons were greeted with homemade stew and candy canes, and were able to help continue not only Dunham’s lifetime legacy of service to his country and community, but to bring warmth and joy to the veterans residing at the shelter.

The 2018 Clothing Drive honored the life and service of Kenneth Allen Stewart.

Early Christmas morning, volunteers with Warrior Cry Music Project loaded up the donations from Boerne Boot and Hide, Of a Muse, Cherry’s Costume Galore in San Antonio and Quatermain Pub in Live Oak and headed to the Forum on Media Street in Downtown San Antonio. A homemade Christmas lunch was also donated to the residents.

For more information about the American G.I. Forum, visit their website www.agif-nvop.org/. For more information about Warrior Cry Music Project, visit www.warriorcry.org.