Venture RV, in collaboration with KZ RV, recently delivered gift bags to all 125 residents at the Indiana Veterans’ Home in Lafayette.

The items came from Venture RV’s Plant 8 employees and several other generous contributors. Paul Kauffman from the Venture RV/KZ RV aftermarket department, along with the Elkhart Vette Set, personally delivered the gifts to the residents, spreading holiday cheer and expressing appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

For the past 10 years, all eight KZ and Venture plants have teamed up with the Elkhart Vette Set in the summer to donate essentials to the Indiana Veterans’ Home. This was the first year for the Christmas rally, however. The effort was well-received, and Kauffman said that it will become an annual event.

“This outreach, especially at Christmastime, meant a lot to them,” said Kauffman. “They don’t get a lot of visitors – this facility is for veterans who have medical needs, no family and no other place to go.”

The gift bags included cookies and party mix, activity books, personal care items, wooden ornaments crafted by Arbor Industries and Christmas cards made by children at an area daycare.

“To receive a handmade card from a child was really meaningful,” said Kauffman. “They all said, ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Thank you for your service,’ but the kids also added messages like ‘God loves you,’ ‘Praying for you,’ ‘Always thinking of you,’ ‘We appreciate you.’ That means a lot to these guys who have no family left.”

The initiative was made possible through the support and contributions of various businesses, organizations and individuals. The following entities played a pivotal role through their generous donations: Bill Evans Insurance, Rulli’s Pizza, L & R Marine, Shipshe Trailer, Dicks Auto Parts, Bills Collision, Jack and Colleen Doke, Steve Hicks, Elkhart Vette Set, Jefferson Community Church, Atlas IT Computer, Dr. Judd – Dentist, Middlebury American Legion, Star City Corvette Club and Arbor Industries.

The collaborative effort and the outpouring of support from the community and various organizations exemplify the spirit of giving and gratitude, the companies said.

“The idea was to personally hand them a gift bag, tell them ‘Merry Christmas,’ and ‘Thank you for your service,’ and hope it brings a smile to their face,” said Kauffman. “It did. They really did appreciate it.”

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