Valley Rescue Mission seeks to help veterans in need

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:03 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - During the holidays, there are also many local military veterans in need, so News Leader 9 launched a new campaign called “Operation Victory.”

One of the three local organizations that we are asking you to help is Valley Rescue Mission, where News Leader 9 went today and met a hero that got a hand up from them.

“I was homeless because my house had caught on fire, and I really needed some help,” said SGT (Ret) Sidney Johnson, Army Vet Helped by Valley Rescue Mission.

Johnson, who served a dozen years in the Army, said Valley Rescue Mission instantly started helping him with furniture, clothes and encouragement. He moved right across the street from the non-profit.

The organization has a new president and CEO, who says he’s thrilled to partner with WTVM for Operation Victory to step in for veterans who face economic or emotional challenges.

“We care for the people who have served our country, so we’re very grateful to be able to be a part of this,” said Vann Ellison, Valley Rescue Mission President/CEO.

They also help veterans with food insecurity and utility assistance.

“We also have individuals that have gone through our addiction recovery program who, guess what, are veterans,” said Greg Wilson, Valley Rescue Mission Marketing Specialist.

As we enter December, it’s one of the busiest times for Valley Rescue Mission, who just helped feed 750 people for Thanksgiving.

“We have hams being donated, turkeys still being donated to us. All that food is going to be served for the Christmas holiday,” said Wilson.

“They drive up empty but they always leave with something. I’ve seen people drive up here crying, and they leave smiling,” said Johnson.

Retired Sgt. Ellison calls the mission “heaven-sent.” The organization, especially for the holidays, always needs volunteers with a willing heart, to help feed others and in their toy store.

Ellison says for those who want to donate, it’s best to earmark for the area where you want it spent.

Go to wtvm.com/operationvictory to learn more on how to help local military families through Valley Rescue Mission, Rally Point or House of Heroes.

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