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Vets get free household improvement items during appreciation day

Posted: March 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.

T.J. Azevedo, center, of the Army Long Range Surveillance Detachment, 25th Infantry, picks up home supplies at Framing Hope Veteran Appreciation Day on Saturday. Photos by Charlie Kaijo.

Hundreds of veterans turned out Saturday for an event to thank them for their service and provide them the opportunity to receive free home improvement supplies.

The event, dubbed the Veteran Appreciation Day, was held on Spirit Court in Santa Clarita and attracted a steady crowd of veterans from both in and outside the Santa Clarita Valley.

“The veterans just love it,” said Irene Reyes, a lead volunteer with Help the Children. “And we’re returning our gratitude to the servicemen.”

Put on by Help the Children, the event provided more than $100,000 worth of new, free home-improvement products for veterans to look over and take home, according to Michael Santomauro, director of Help the Children in Santa Clarita.

“We want to make sure that we know that they know that their service is neither forgotten nor taken advantage of and that their service meant something to us,” Santomauro said.

This is the second year Help the Children has put on such an event in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to Santomauro. Santomauro said last year’s event attracted 200 military families, and he expects at least as many attended Saturday.

Attendees took their time scrutinizing pallets of supplies ranging from weed killer to potting soil.

“They’re not paying for this stuff; we’re giving it away free,” Santomauro said. “We want them to know we appreciate them.”

For more information on Help the Children, visit
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