Local Woman Helps Needy Veterans
One local lady is dedicated to helping those less fortunate than herself.
Gigi Ramos is a woman who grew up with military surrounding her life.
Her non-profit organization, Volunteers Serving the Need, serves veterans and their families who are having trouble making ends meet.
This organization serves over 500 veterans and surviving widows a month.
Ramos is the founder of this organization that started about a year ago. She started this project because she couldn't find any organization dedicated to helping those who served and their families.
This organization does not receive any type of federal funding; they make all of their money from the thrift store they run at 1202 Salinas Street. They use this money to pay expenses and to purchase food at a shared fee with the South Texas Food Bank.
"Anyone can come in and purchase. We have items for sale like pots, pans, dishes, and furniture. You name it, we have it.”
This organization also tries to buy other items that families would need, including baby diapers and toilet paper. They also make bags of other household items they pass out along with the food.
"It's not a lot but it's a little something that can help them: corn on the cob, open the can, clean your dishes, put your cards in, lemon squeezer. We'll make sure all 500 units get something like this.”
The organization also has a program where people can adopt a family; $180 will guarantee a family groceries and non-taxable items every month.
The veterans' Serving the Need organization receives their food on Wednesdays. They say it takes about six to eight hours to unload the tractor-trailer because their building does not have the means for a forklift.
"We're trying to connect with someone that can help us with a big ware house so we could have a dock. In the morning the food comes, and we have to drag pieces of board out front because we don't have cement to be able to have the truck unloaded."
Even though today was Martin Luther King Day, Ramos, board members, scouts and school organizations spent the day organizing and accepting donations.
"Martin Luther King Day is not necessarily a day off. It should be a day on. We are honoring Martin Luther King and his memory."
This organization runs on volunteers and donations. They accept all donations: anything they can sell in the thrift store and food.