Veterans at Pell City veterans home receive gifts

Alabama Power Service Organization members hand out Cheeriodicals care boxes to veterans at the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City.

David Atchison/The Daily Home

PELL CITY -- Alabama Power Service Organization members delivered special packages to veterans at the Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City on Tuesday.

“What’s the occasion?” one veteran asked the APSO volunteers.

“We just wanted to say, ‘Thank you,’” said APSO volunteer Jacki-Lyn Thacker Lowry.

The volunteers helped the veterans open the bright green boxes that held neat goodies for each veteran.

“Thank you for your bravery, service and dedication to our country,” was inscripted on the inside of the box lid and on the lap blankets provided to each veteran.

The boxes held items that the veterans could use. Included were an insulated cup, a toothbrush and toothpaste, playing cards, Kleenex, a notebook and pen, socks, Chap sticks and a nice warm blanket.

“It’s very kind of them,” said another veteran after he opened the box on the table in front of him.

Ali Conn, with the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home, said there were a total of 49 boxes that the group of 13 APSO members handed out to veterans Tuesday morning in the American Harbor section of the home.

A large box was shipped to the veterans home in advance, and the APSO volunteers unsealed the large box and removed the individual boxes from the container.

Lowery said APSO joined the nonprofit Cheeriodicals, a corporate gifting company founded in Birmingham, to provide care boxes to more than 500 people from 11 nonprofits across Alabama.

She said all 11 APSO chapters from across the state participated and helped fund the project.

“This is an exciting project for a number of reasons,” said Myla Calhoun, vice president of Alabama Power Charitable Giving. “Not only are we able to bring the APSO chapters together to participate in a large-scale project that will touch the lives of 500 individuals, we’re able to work with a company that’s based right here in Alabama. That’s pretty special.”

Other organizations to receive care boxes to help “cheer up” the lives of so many include the ARC of South Talladega County, BigHouse Foundation in Opelika, Boys and Girls Club of Hueytown, Crowne Health Care of Eufaula, Hand in Hand Early Learning Program in Birmingham, Oneonta Senior Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, Uniontown Cares, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile, and William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette.

APSO is a nonprofit organization whose membership includes 5,500 Alabama Power, Southern Company and Southern Nuclear employees and family members who live in Alabama. Members typically contribute more than 40,000 volunteer hours in Alabama communities each year. APSO members support their charitable initiatives through donations and fundraising events.