The best part of the Christmas season is bringing smiles to people’s faces with a kind gesture or a thoughtful gift. But there are some people who go all year barely being noticed. Despite decades of bravery and service, many residents at Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler often find themselves alone for the holidays.
“You don’t realize how many of them have nothing. They don’t have anybody,” said Bryanna Chapman of Stonewater Roofing.
Chapman and her sister, Kelse Hollowell of Reuland Orthodontics, started working together to change that. “We got a whole bunch of stockings, and we have a list of things that were really needed by the veterans at the veteran home,” Chapman said. “We started this little thing for people to swing by the offices and pick up some stockings and just fill them with things that the veterans needed or wanted, or stuff that we thought would be a good little Christmas gift.”
The wishlists included items like non-slip socks, pens and notepads, tissues, lip balm, hand sanitizer, lotion, crossword puzzles and other activity books.
Chapman’s family at Stonewater Roofing was happy to help. “I just asked a lot of the guys or the office people if they wanted to help pitch in as well, and got a lot of response from it,” she added.
But this was not just an act of service for Chapman and Hollowell, it was a labor of love. “My husband, he’s in the Army. A lot of people in my family are in the military,” Chapman explained. “Veterans being in need over Christmas just broke my heart. I really wanted to help.”
The stockings were delivered to the veterans in the days leading up to Christmas.
“It just makes sense,” Chapman continued. “They just didn’t have anything or anybody for Christmas, so being able to provide them with stuff like this just seemed like the right thing to do.”