TILTON - Did you know there is only one state Veterans' home in New Hampshire? The New Hampshire Veterans Home (NHVH) is in Tilton and serves 135 residents. I did not know there was only one until my family was looking for a way to honor my dad's memory with a gift.
That's when I learned something else; NHVH has a Wish List for items people can donate to provide fun and quality programs for the veterans in residence. A current copy of their updated Wish List is available at their website at www.nh.gov/veterans under the "Support NHVH" tab.
My dad, Ken "Nutsy" Kneuer, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 and served for three years as an aviation mechanics mate. He attained the rank of petty officer third class and survived three plane crashes during his service. He died in 2018 and his 90th birthday would have been December 18, 2023.
Nutsy, a nickname earned early in life from escapades too numerous to recount from his firefighting days, was a great storyteller and we could envision him in a recliner holding court. So, my mom Jane, my brother Bruce, and I decided we would donate a recliner from the Wish List in his memory. (They still need 20 more so if you have the means and are so inclined, please see the Wish List to donate!)
What types of items are on the list? They range from social to practical. They range from $39 to $1,595. But, all are priceless gifts to the Veteran residents, who were willing to put their lives on the line for us, our families, and our country.
Some of the social wish list items are: pizza parties; ice cream socials; BBQs; and bingo games. There are social/practical wish list items: hardtop gazebos for outside events; wheelchair accessible picnic tables; and iPads residents can use for video calls with their family members.
The practical wish list items include: Theraband station; storage cabinets; and even commercial trash cans to use during outdoor events.
Even companies with specialized services can give back to the Veterans. The wish list has a need for concrete courtyard walkways that meet ADA requirements for their wheelchair bound residents.
There is another opportunity to give affordable everyday items to keep the Sunshine Cart stocked. Residents can choose items at no cost from the Sunshine Cart to brighten any day. You can donate directly from Amazon and ensure residents have items like razors, pre-shave, aftershave, sensitive toothpaste, and soft tissues when they need them. Those items start at $4.95.
Will you consider showing some love for the Veterans at the NH Home this Valentine's Day by considering donating something from their wish list? If that is not possible at this time, would you spread the word in your families, schools, neighborhoods, social groups, social media, and any place you think people would consider supporting our Veterans?