Veterans Blankets

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COLUMBIA - With winter weather hitting mid-Missouri hard this past week, one store is doing its best to keep Missouri veterans warm.

Mid America Harley-Davidson is holding a blanket drive, collecting new blankets and bedding to donate to Harry S Truman VA Hospital in Columbia.

This is the second straight year the store is holding this drive.

Last year, it collected more than 100 items. This year, it's already up to 60.

Store manger Ron Schieferdecker said with cold weather like this, it was the right thing to do. 

"We realized that a large portion of our customers are veterans, we realize the only reason we have the freedom to ride these motorcycles and do the things we do are because of the sacrifices that they have made," Schieferdecker said. "So we feel like taking the people that are in the most dire need and being able to give them something to help them get through times like this where it's really cold outside and they need that extra warmth."

He also says homelessness is a huge problem in Columbia, and this is just a little thing they can do to help.

"We realize there is a population of homeless people and unfortunately a large portion of those are homeless veterans, and it just doesn't seem right that they are people that have given so much for our country are the ones that are in the most need," Schieferdecker said. 

One veteran works at the VA hospital as a housekeeper and has brought in three blankets of his own to donate.

"I went to Walmart, got some blankets and brought them over, he said, I've seen other people donate too so that's good, their going to be kept warm," Tony Conway said.

Conway says it's important to donate because veterans are in need, especially now.

The box is located in the front of the store by the register, and bedding can be donated during regular store hours.

People can donate until January 31st.