DVD donation benefits Vets across state

Published 12:12 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

RESERVE — In an effort to bring a smile to residents in all five War Veterans Homes in Louisiana, different groups pulled together for the fifth year in a row for DVDS FOR VETS.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 37 representative Larry Jones displays some of the DVD donated this week in Reserve.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 37 representative Larry Jones displays some of the DVD donated this week in Reserve.

Representatives from Dots Diner, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 37 Jefferson Parish and the National Order of the Trench Rats Dugout 53 gathered Wednesday morning at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home to donate 500 DVDs and CDs. The boxes will be divided equally by the Veterans Home staff in Reserve and sent to the other Veterans Homes around the state.

According to Dots Diner owner Larry Katz, all six Dots Diner restaurants throughout the region put out collection boxes from Nov. 1 – 11.

“We ask our costumers to bring in a new or used store-bought DVD, and if they do, they receive 20 percent off of their check the day of the donation,” Katz said. “This is our fifth year, and I think we are just at around 4,000 DVDs that we’ve collected in the five years. There is a national charity called DVDS FOR VETS, and I heard a public address about it and I thought, ‘What a great idea.’ My son is an Air Force Veteran. It sort of just clicked.”

Katz said for the national charity the movies that were collected were shipped to Washington then distributed throughout the country.

“I talked to Larry Jones, who I know through a mutual friend, and he said, ‘Why send them around the country, we have needs in Louisiana?’” Katz said. “So we took the idea and decided to donate all of the DVDs to the Veterans Homes here in Louisiana.”

The Dots Diner owner believes this effort benefits the Veterans receiving the donations and the people who help put it together.

“It’s a way for us to give back, step back from work a little bit and really get out in the community and be grateful for the gifts that we have,” Katz said. “While I’m sure the Vets appreciate it, we appreciate the opportunity to help them probably even more than then they appreciate the DVDs.”

Jones is connected with Disabled American Veterans and he believes the veterans enjoy receiving the movies.

“A couple of years ago there was a male veteran who was sitting next to one of the boxes,” he said. “Apparently, there was a movie that was triple-X rated that was laying on top. He picked it up and said, ‘This one is going to my room.’

“We had a big chuckle over that; we really didn’t screen the movies, so since then we do screen them. I thought it was very humorous experience. The guy was really chuckling. It was like we made his day.”

Being a Veteran himself, Jones has a special connection with the effort.

“It’s my passion to help other vets and give back a little bit,” he said. “We try and take care of the vets (at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home). They aren’t patients here, they are residents. The vets that are here, it’s the little things that are important to them.

“My favorite part of this event is seeing the smiles on the faces of the veterans when we have a good collection. All kinds of movies are donated — some older movies, some classics, some are current. Music is also across the board. There is everything from classical to western, whatever people wanted to donate.”