CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Saturday, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center held a Thanksgiving meal giveaway for military families in need.
Nearly 250 families pre-registered for the event and a sponsor for the event says that number is higher than in recent years. She said the pandemic has left a lot of families needing help this holiday season.
It’s the first year the VA Medical Center has hosted the event, but a generous donor and sponsor of the event, J. Denise Cromwell, says her organization has been doing this for nearly two decades. It’s in honor of her late uncle, SFC Sam Caulder.
“[He] was a four tour Vietnam war veteran. Spent 22 years in the military in the army,” said Cromwell of Project Street Outreach.
After serving, Cromwell said Caulder became homeless and then ended his own life.
“In honor of him, and to help my family and I heal, I decided, along with my family and tons and tons of friends and family that we would do what we can to help aid and assist veterans that are in the same situation that he was in,” she said.
Now, 20 years later, Project Street Outreach, Cromwell’s nonprofit teamed up with the VA Medical Center.
“So awesome. I am just outta the ballpark feeling some type of way because we were finally able to connect with the VA and help people on a larger scale,” said Cromwell.
Each family that pre-registered received a butterball turkey and a box of all the thanksgiving essentials.
Cromwell says she and her team will continue to work to help families in need.