Curt Boatman – Regional Coordinator, National Capital Region
Since 2014, the Fort Belvoir and Quantico PHWFF Programs have supported the Petersburg (WV) Interfaith Pantry at their annual season ending trip to Harmans Cabins. Former Quantico Program Lead, Marty Laksbergs, started this tradition by asking everyone attending our Harmans trip to bring a food donation for the Pantry. With close to 100 people attending this trip, the food donation was substantial. When Covid reared its ugly head, our annual trip was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. However, Marty Laksbergs didn’t want to abandon the Pantry donation even though we couldn’t hold in-person meetings. Both the Fort Belvoir and Quantico Programs continued to collect food with volunteers offering to be drop off locations. We also enlisted help from the Walter Reed and LaPlata PHWFF Programs. Our veterans and volunteers came through in a big way with a 2-year total of 3,824 lbs of food and $3,150 in cash donations. Volunteers delivered the food to the Pantry during the first weekend of December.
Spearheading the donation this past year was Bruce Gilley, the APL of the Fort Belvoir Program; Don Miller, the APL of the Quantico Program, and Larry Braswell, the PL of the Walter Reed and LaPlata Programs.
In a thank you letter from Melissa Collins, the Vice-Chair of the Pantry, she noted “Each year you guys bless us abundantly. I pray that God blesses the efforts of Project Healing Waters in the future. We thank you for your service to our military and to our communities.”