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Operation Thank You donates nearly 2,000 personal hygiene items to area veterans

Items donated to veterans

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Sheila Melaas, left, and Sandi Widdel, both North Star Community Credit Union of Minot, join Ric Gutierrez, Minot Vet Center, in displaying a few of the personal hygiene products donated to area veterans.

Several boxes and bags were unloaded from a delivery vehicle outside the Minot Veteran’s Center late Tuesday morning. Inside the containers was nearly 2,000 personal hygiene products.

It was the culmination of “Operation Thank You” launched in mid-June by North Star Community Credit Unions at 12 locations across North Dakota.

“Today we are donating 1,757 items to the Vet Center to be distributed and help veterans in our community,” said Sandi Widdell, North Star Community Credit Union of Minot. “We found out there was a need, that our vets needed these items in our community.”

Toothbrushes, shampoo, and deodorant were just some of the items in the overflowing bags and boxes. The volume of products put a broad smile on the face of Ric Gutierrez, outreach specialist at the Minot Vet Center.

“Absolutely a great day!” said Gutierrez. “That’s for sure. It’s amazing. It’s very humbling.”

Gutierrez said other agencies will aid in the distribution of the personal care items, adding that the community responded to a definite need.

Widdell, a daughter of a veteran, said she had a personal interest in the project. She said she was grateful to members and employees of all 12 North Star Community Credit Unions in the state.

“Credit unions are known for people helping people and that’s what we wanted to do today,” said Widdell.

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