Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans distributes 500 Thanksgiving baskets


Cove Leader-Press 


Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans passed out 500 turkeys and 500 red and blue bags filled with the fixings and sides for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner during their annual Thanksgiving Basket Distribution held Saturday morning. 

The distribution event featured members of Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans, sponsors and representatives of the different organizations and entities that would be receiving bags this year. 

Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Fred Chavez opened the event with welcoming remarks and praised Star Group-VHV for their generosity to the community. 

Chavez said. “A community, a society is judged on how we take care of those most vulnerable and the Star Group- Veterans Helping Veterans is showing the way. This is how we take care of our people. This is how we give back. A lot of people say Copperas Cove is a small town, and they’d like it to stay that way. Well, we’re growing, but the small-town feel will remain as long as we have people like the Star Group here, as long as we continue to give and support each other as a community. So, in this holiday season, I hope that you all have a good time. I hope that you can share it with family and friends and help those less fortunate and most vulnerable because together we continue to make this one of the best communities in Central Texas.” 

Sheila Timmons, executive director of Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans, explained that this tradition began years and years ago as something that the organization planned to do by themselves. The need grew, and with it, the help from local organizations and businesses, and now the Star Group-VHV is able to serve a full Thanksgiving meal to 500 families. 

Timmons listed the sponsors who help every year: PCSI, Linnemann Realty, JR Rentals and Property Management, Century 21 Premier Realtors, Viss Family Funeral Home, All-American Chevrolet and AFGE Local 1920 and District 10. 

Bonnie Piontek-Herrings was in attendance on behalf of her husband, Robert “J.R.” Herrings of Century 21. She spoke about her husband’s giving heart and shared how serving has been embedded in his life since he was six years old. 

“To this day, he’s still doing the same thing,” Herrings said. “That’s why I love him because on his worst day he’s better than some people because he just gives. I was thinking of a quote that I love the most by John C Maxwell, and it says, ‘The entire population-with one minor exception-is composed of others.’ I love that because when you realize this is not about you, and that there is a bigger picture. It makes it easy to serve.”

Another organization that helps every time was the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors, which has given a donation each year. This year’s donation was for $5,500. 

Other sponsors included the French family and Joe DeCroce with Crawford Bowers Funeral Home. 

Two of the recipients of the Thanksgiving bags were Copperas Cove ISD 

During the distribution of the baskets Saturday morning, John Robertson passed the first bag to CCISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Burns who then passed it “across county lines” to Deputy Superintendent of KISD Megan Bradley. 

Burns expressed his thanks by saying, “You know, people say that Copperas Cove is a big family, and we are,” Burns said. “I do want to say big thank you to John and to Sheila for continuing the effort and helping organize and motivate and encourage people to be a part of this process. I want to thank our community and those folks who have contributed to the gift bags.”

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