Shinn's Run CEOS Donates to Brown Bags for Veterans Project

By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on June 12, 2018 via

Members of Harrison County Community Educational Outreach Service club figured serving a veteran a snack is one way of thanking them for serving their country.
The Shinn’s Run CEOS club, which meets outside of Bridgeport at Maplewood, donated more than 200 snack bags as part of the Brown Bags for Veterans project which provides a healthy snack to veterans returning on the bus to Clarksburg from the Pittsburgh VA hospital where they underwent medical procedures not available locally. Because of the strict time schedule to which the bus operator must adhere, those veterans often do not have time to sit down for lunch or even find their way to the cafeteria to grab a bite on the run.
“We are always into helping the veterans,” said Shinn’s Run CEOS vice president Patricia Rummel, who herself formerly served in the U.S. Army. “The club agreed to the project, and we just ran with it.”
Rummel and fellow Shinn’s Run member Vicky Ashby, who grew up in a military family, spent more than 14 hours shopping for the items, crafting greeting cards which offered a bit of encouragement and appreciation to the recipient of the brown bag, and then assembling the items. Ashby said many of the Maplewood residents helped on the assembly after learning of the project.
“We said, ‘Who wants to help the veterans?’ and they all pitched in,” Ashby said.
The Brown Bags for Veterans initiative started a few years ago with the North Central West Virginia Joining Community Forces group, a group which encompasses several educational and veterans service agencies. The JCF learned that many veterans were going long hours without food because of the bus trip and the fasting required prior to most tests, which was putting a strain on many veterans’ health. Out of that necessity, the Brown Bags project was born, and it has continued to grow in terms of community support.
“We have received a lot of very positive feedback from the veterans and their spouses,” said Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center Public Affairs Officer Wesley Walls. “These bags also support our Intensive Care Unit waiting area, hospice, and in some cases, homeless veterans.” 
The Clarksburg VA runs two shuttles per day Mondays through Thursdays, and one shuttle on Fridays. The Brown Bags program can go through as many as 200 bags weekly.
“We know that these bags are going to get used,” Rummel said. “It is doing something directly for each veteran who receives a bag. That’s important to us. It also keeps our community service closer to home, which is also nice.”
For more information on the Brown Bags for Veterans program or the Community Educational Outreach Service organization, contact the West Virginia University Extension Office at 304624-8650. The programs and activities offered by the WVU Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status. When registering for these programs, please designate special access or dietary needs three weeks prior. The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Cooperative Extension Service is implied.  
Editor's Note: Pictured is Shinn’s Run Community Educational Outreach Service club vice president Patricia Rummel (left), Shinn’s Run CEOS member Vicky Ashby and Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center Public Affairs Officer Wesley Walls (right) load up the more than 200 snack bags which the CEOS club donated to the Brown Bags for Veterans initiative.  

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