WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – John Henry says something touched him.
Watching WECT News at 6pm on Monday, December 1st, he saw my report on how the Salvation Army plans to help thousands of families this Christmas season. The report also noted that there are needs in the Salvation Army shelter which could use attention. Pillows and sheets where the homeless sleep year-round are in bad shape, and Major Richard Watts noted that a donation of new bedding would give a struggling person or family the comfort of a warm, clean place to sleep for the holidays.
"Watching your newscast I started thinking, I can do that," Henry said.
So John Henry decided he was going to do something. He donated $1,000 to buy new sheets and pillows for all of the beds inside the Salvation Army shelter. John and his wife Rita spent part of their Friday afternoon unloading boxes and carrying them inside the shelter, along with Major Watts and other workers.
"I had a friend of mine pass away last December, Vernie Rogers Allen, she was like my second mama," Henry said. "I was thinking about her and all my Vietnam buddies, the 58,152 that stayed behind, and thought 'I need to do something."
"A lot of people know about the needs," said Major Watts. "But, there are not a lot of people who want to do something about it. What's happened here, with John and with Rita, is that they said 'I want to make a difference, and I want to do something about it'."
John also received a $100 gift certificate from Walmart in Leland because of his substantial purchase. He immediately donated that money to the Salvation Army, in part to help take care of the new bedding and any other incidentals needed in the shelter this holiday season.
"It just makes you feel good," Henry said. "I know that might sound corny, but it puts a warm place in your heart. It just feels good."
"This year we will provide over 20,000 nights sleep in our shelter," added Major Watts. "His gift is going to make a big difference in the lives of all those men and women, many of them are like John are Vietnam veterans who have served our nation, and now we have the opportunity to serve them. That in itself is a privilege."
Click here to see the original WECT report on the Salvation Army that John Henry saw on December 1st..