The true spirit of Christmas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – For the second year in a row, L’Observateur teamed up with the St. John Parish Young Marines to bring a little Christmas cheer to residents of the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve.

The two organizations, with the help of Gold Eagle Security and Raising Canes, started collecting donations of art supplies, blankets and various toiletries for the veterans last month. Additionally, raffle tickets for a gift basket from Raising Canes were sold, and the more than $1,000 collected through the ticket sales was used to buy five DVD players, about 80 movies and more art supplies and blankets.

On Wednesday, the Young Marines along with staff members from L’Observateur brought the gifts to the veterans home just as the veterans were finishing up a game of Bingo. Several of the veterans gathered around the table piled high with gifts to see what was brought.

Freeman Rose, the home’s resident artist, smiled as Unit Commander Brian Bertrand showed him all the new supplies he had with which to create more works of art as other residents looked through the brand new DVD library.

“This was unbelievable,” said Bertrand. “But I’ve got to give the kids the credit.”

Young Marines manned the light dispay at Gold Eagle all month long collecting donations and selling raffle tickets.

Bertrand, however, was quick to modify his statement.

“The community made all this possible,” he said. “Every time these kids get together to do something, the community comes together more and more.”