“So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” This is our pledge that is carried out by lodges across the state. Our continuing support is given to both The Dalles Veterans Home and the Lebanon VA Home each year with our annual “Veterans Home Drive” held at Summer Convention. Lodges do local drives for items requested from the homes and then those items are brought to the summer convention. From there they are divided and taken to the homes. We have also done statewide sock drives. Besides the two homes, we support four VA hospitals and five VA clinics in our state area. Along with these facilities, we also send support to Divide Camp in Joseph, OR, which services physically and/or psychologically injured post-9/11 combat wounded veterans. Flag Day ceremonies are always a highlight where we honor those who have served. Many lodges lend support to National Guard units in their area. Through lodge fundraising efforts and grants, veterans have been taken on boat outings, kayak trips, given food baskets at Christmas, clothing, a place to go for lunch, made resources available, picnics, etc. This is just scratching the surface on what we do to show our appreciation for those that have served our country.
Today, volunteers give endless hours in direct service to both active and retired military personnel and families. Bingo at the hospitals is always a great event where volunteers show their support and have fun. Their dedication is to be commended for all they do!