On Wednesday, right in between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, volunteers at Conemaugh Regional Hospice spent a few hours showing their appreciation to people who made the sacrifice of serving their country in the military.

They handed out nonperishable foods, along with pins and certificates, during a Veterans “Drive-Thru” Appreciation Event at the hospice on Industrial Park Road, Richland Township. 

“It's around Thanksgiving, during this month, when our country sets a whole day aside to honor our veterans with a national holiday,” Rev. Scott Lill, the hospice's chaplain and bereavement coordinator, said. “We at Conemaugh Hospice recognize that we have a special mission to our patients who are veterans – to serve the unique needs that they and their families have – as they approach the end of their journeys. But we wanted to do something for the veterans in the broader community, and this is the way that we decided that we were going to do that.”

Veterans drove up to a tent and volunteers handed them the bagged items.

“Because of the pandemic, we were limited with what we could do, but we got something that was outside, socially distanced,” Teri Adams, a volunteer coordinator at the hospice, said. “We gave back just a little bit – not only thanks, but maybe a bag full of groceries to help them along, or a blanket, something just to say thanks.”

Approximately 120 bags were prepared.

Items were donated by workers and volunteers at the hospice, along with individuals and organizations in the community.

When talking about the number of people needed to make the appreciation event happen, Adams said, “There are angels everywhere.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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