JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A single pair of gloves can go a long way.
Members of the Elks Lodge are using gloves to give back to local veterans.
President of the Elks Lodge, Dennis Darrow, said he and fellow members strive to meet the need they see in Region 8.
"The charity we do is not for us," Darrow said. "It's for the people we are trying to help."
Darrow said they travel to Lafe and Piggott every week to pick up the deer hides.
They clean and prepare the hides, then send them to a manufacturer to get regular and fingerless gloves made.
Darrow said helping veterans can change your life.
"When you hand a pair of gloves to a veteran, which I did on Monday, he was amazed," Darrow said. "He said he'd never seen gloves like this. They are warm, they're pliable, and it hits me here."
Darrow said they started collecting deer hides about eight years ago as a small, local project.
Today, they are third in the nation for collecting gloves, but they are striving for second place next year.
But there is something you can do to help.
Darrow said they also sell the gloves, and that money goes to support veterans' programs.
For instance, money from the gloves ensures that the local veterans' clinic has the supplies they need.
Elks Lodge has supplied coffee, doughnuts and even a printer to the clinic.
Darrow said as long as they continue to collect the hides, the manufacturers will keep making the gloves.
Elks Lodge member, Jeremy Frakes, said anyone can help.
"It could be the most minute thing, like buying a pair of gloves or donating clothes for some of our homeless veterans," Frakes said. "You don't have to be a millionaire to help out here."
This isn't the only project they do to benefit veterans.
Darrow said a Spaghetti Dinner will take place Friday, Nov. 10.
This dinner is free to veterans and their spouses and Darrow said this event is a moving one.
"Friday night, come see the veterans, sit down and talk to them," Darrow said. "That's all they want, to know that they have been appreciated."
Members of the Marine Corps will be at the dinner and perform a special birthday ceremony in honor of their 242nd birthday.
Frakes said every project they do to help someone who served is a way to thank them for what they've done.
"For me it's always great to be a part of these events," Frakes said. "To give back for the service they provide for us that allows us to breathe easier at night."
The Spaghetti Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Jonesboro at 2113 West Washington Avenue.
The dinner is $10 for the public and all proceeds will go to help veterans.
For those who want to purchase a pair of the gloves, they are $25 a pair.
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