Drive supports Wilson’s at-risk and homeless veterans

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Local businesses are gearing up for three events that will benefit Wilson’s at-risk and homeless veterans. Officials hope the community will rally around the cause aimed to collect food and financial support for Veterans Residential Services of Wilson.

The nonprofit, located at 2500 Nash St., Suite E, provides financial and emergency assistance as well as employment, training and referrals to local veterans. The events include a food drive, charitable wine tasting at Grapenuts Wine and a celebratory service at 217 Brew Works.

The money raised will help with a host of things including transportation, emergency expenses for veterans and food.

“Veterans Residential Services of Wilson has the privilege of working with the homeless and at-risk veterans of Wilson and the surrounding areas,” said Claudia Baker, executive director of Veterans Residential Services of Wilson. “It is a wonderful job that we have and very fulfilling. We have the opportunity to see lives drastically changed.”

Baker said they work with the generosity of the community to be able to accomplish those changes.

The organization has proven to be a lifeline for many veterans. Of the 474 total cases, Veterans Residential Services has 90 active veteran cases volunteers work with each week. And they rely solely on donations from the community.

“The team at 217 Brew Works is honored to honor our vets and ask that all vets who have been fortunate in their lives come and help those brothers in arms who have fallen on hard times,” said Brew Works founder Tom Curran. “Let’s ‘band’ together and give a hand up to those who served.”

Shelley Serani, manager at Grapenuts Wine, said they are privileged to support Wilson’s veterans once again.

“We have veterans in our families, our Nuts’ community and in our hearts,” she said. “We raise a glass to all those who serve and have served to protect our freedom.”


• Veteran’s Day Food Drive will begin Monday and run through Nov. 11. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at Wilson Family YMCA, Barton College, Grapenuts Wine, Wilson Community College and 217 Brew Works.

• Grapenuts Wine will host a charitable wine tasting, “Vino for Our Vets,” on Friday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. All proceeds and non-perishable food items will be donated to Veterans Residential Services of Wilson. The tasting is hosted by Grapenuts and Empire Distributors.

• A main celebratory event will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, from 3 p.m. until closing at 217 Brew Works, 217 South St. The fun-filled day will feature live music and Everette’s Concessions. Veterans Residential Services of Wilson’s trailer will be on site where folks can take non-perishable food items or financial contributions. All veterans with proof of service will receive a 10 percent discount on any purchase at Brew Works. A percentage of the sales at Brew Works will also be donated to the organization.