Somerset County News

Kick-off of Annual New Winter Clothing Drive for Veterans Living at VA Campus in Lyons Section of Bernards

5d0bd71ef78f5deb71ad_StaciaMcDonoughBeauty_.jpg
Stacia McDonough and a collection box. Credits: Courtesy of Stacia McDonough
2ca27cc0b733b3a1bb83_VA_GOLFcourse.jpg
The Lyons Campus of the Veterans Administration New Jersey Healthcare System off Valley Road in Bernards Township. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
4bd240e1e62f9bae5cf9_FlagsStacia_crew.jpg
Stacia McDonough and veterans at a previous Field of Honor Veterans Day event in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
5d0bd71ef78f5deb71ad_StaciaMcDonoughBeauty_.jpg

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Bedminster resident Stacia McDonough has kicked off her fifth annual, “They Kept Us Safe, Let's Keep Them Warm,” new winter clothing drive to benefit the formerly homeless and disabled veterans that are now in housing on the Veterans Administration campus in the Lyons section of Bernards Township.

McDonough launched the campaign to honor her late husband, Vietnam veteran John E. McDonough. Working with area businesses and volunteers, she has grown the clothing drive beyond its original intent to collect winter coats.

Each holiday, she has delivered the collected warm clothing before Christmas to formerly homeless veterans now living at the Lyons Campus of the Veterans Administration New Jersey Healthcare System off Valley Road in Bernards Township.

Sign Up for E-News

In memory of Vietnam veteran John E. McDonough

Stacia McDonough was inspired to start theinnovative campaign in loving memory of her late husband, a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force who served “in country” during the Vietnam War. The annual collection is now officially “Dedicated in Memory of John E. McDonough.”

Items being collected are brand new winter coats, along with hats, scarves, socks, slippers, ear muffs, robes, pajamas, undershirts (All men’s sizes: L-5XL), thermal underwear, sweaters, blankets, toiletries (shampoo, bar soap, razors, deodorant, sunblock, lip balm, etc.). New kitchenware such as toaster ovens, crock pots, George Forman grills, toasters, coffee makers, Tupperware and more are much appreciated. Bed-in-a Bags are also a much-needed item, according to McDonough.

In addition, gift cards from grocery stores and Wal-Mart are being accepted, she said.

Women as well as men

The residents are mostly men, however, there are currently seven ex-servicewomen (sizes L-14) residing at one of the facilities, she said. 

There are approximately 150 ex-servicemen and women residing at the VA facilities, she said.

This year's drop off collection boxes are located at:

The Salon Studio, 27 Mine Mount Road (second floor), Bernardsville, NJ, 07942 (Contact: Kate Phan) P: (732) 306-3846.

Coldwell Banker Realty, 1 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ, 07920 (Contact: Theresa Filippone). P: (908) 766-8354, or (908) 766-0808.

Weichert Realtors, 22 Henry St., Basking Ridge, NJ, 07920 (Contact: Carol Conway) P: (908) 334-1986.

Investor’s Bank, 315 Route 202/206, Pluckemin, NJ, 07978 (Contact: Antonella Celli, assistant vice president, branch manager). P: (908) 719-6750.

The Stirling Elks Lodge, 1138 Valley Road, Stirling, NJ, 07980 (Contact: Kelly Mazzochi) *Non-perishable food also being collected at this location P: (908) 672-2079.

Robbiani’s Clock and Doll Shop, 14 School Road West, Marlboro, NJ, 07746 (Contact: Michael and Kathleen Robbiani) P: (732) 462.3589.

Salon Seraphim, 55 Willow Lane, 184 Route #9 North, Englishtown, NJ, 07726 (Contact: Jennifer Oakley or Michelle Whinni) P: (732) 972-5177.

McDonough, along with several dedicated volunteers will personally hand-deliver the gift-wrapped items to each veteran on December 22. Gifts will also be hand-delivered on December 7 to the VA’s PTSD during the annual Rolling Thunder Christmas party.

“As Americans, we must keep our brave veterans in the forefront. For their service, bravery, and sacrifice these extraordinary souls should be revered, and never forgotten,” McDonough said. She added she has been thrilled by the tremendous success of her previous campaigns.

“I am looking forward to a banner year, hoping I can spread a little bit of Christmas cheer to our amazing heroes,” she added.

Unfortunately, many of our country's homeless population is comprised of former servicemen and women, she said.

“It is a tremendous privilege for me to be able to conduct this annual campaign, and an honor to spend Christmas Eve with our remarkable veterans. It’s beyond humbling just to be in their presence,” said McDonough.

Any individuals, businesses, or organizations interested in participating with “They Kept Us Safe, Let's Keep Them Warm” drive, can contact Mrs. Stacia McDonough via e-mail at: staciamcdonough@hotmail.com, or Mrs. Jena Rae at jenakrae@gmail.com.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 26

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, April 26, 12:00 PM

Congregation Knesseth Israel, Bound Brook

4 Day Gala Rummage Sale

Other

Student: Sometimes Existing Rules Need to Change for the Betterment of Society

April 25, 2018

To the Editor:

In "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, Rue, a child tribute, was killed for the purpose of survival, by her competitors, as well as for the ultimate purpose of entertainment for the Gamemakers. In this competition, there are no specific rules that prevent innocent unprotected children from participating and being killed. It’s sad to think of a scenario where ...

Car Fire in Wendy's Parking Lot Deemed Not Suspicious, Bridgewater Police Say

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Police responded to a car fire in the parking lot of Wendy's, on Route 22 East April 9, but the fire was not deemed suspicious, according to a report.

According to the report, an unoccupied 2003 Infinity G35 caught fire. A 2010 Honda CRV, which was parked next to it, was also damaged in the fire.

North Branch and Green Knoll fire both ...

BAM Desserts Visits SCVTHS Culinary Arts Program

April 22, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Melissa Jenkins, one of the owners of BAM Desserts in Somerset, and Chef Liz Hernandez visited the Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) culinary arts classes this week in hopes to recruit students for the growing bakery. 

Jenkins and Hernandez were looking for reliable students who were willing to learn new skills, get workplace ...

Relief for Somerville Neighborhood: New DMV Office To Open in So. Plainfield May 14

April 25, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The new Department of Motor Vehicles Office in South Plainfield is scheduled to open May 14 -  not a day too soon for residents who live in the neighborhood adjacent to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place.

B. Sue Fulton, the newly-sworn director of the state DMV visited the Somerville facility Saturday at the  invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Bateman Bill to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons.

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman.