News Local/State

Veterans Administration Hospital In Need Of Women’s Clothing Donations

World War II veteran

World War II veteran Everett Brown, 88, is an Urbana resident who volunteers to collect clothing donations for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Danville. Clare Stukel

Veterans Administration Hospital in Danville says they are in need of more women’s clothing donations. One 88-year-old man from Champaign-Urbana is calling on more people to help out. 

Everett Brown, Urbana, served in World War II, but the Navy man’s service didn’t stop there.

In spite of nearing 90 years old, he’s been rounding up clothing donations for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Danville.

“We go store to store to get what they want or the sizes they want and we take it directly to the VA, there’s no in between. Nobody gets paid.”

Brown says he also picks up things like books and card games, to provide patients with a little more entertainment.

But some things are harder to find than others. He says women’s clothing is especially difficult to get donations for.

“A lot of people don’t realize there are women veterans over there and some of them are on the street too,” Brown says.

Lisa McGinty, a female veteran herself, oversees the hospital’s homeless patients, many of whom depend on the clothing room for their needs. She says that for homeless women, this issue is all too real.

“Female veterans won’t even get clothing slips from them because they know this clothing room doesn’t have the fashionable type of items that they are wanting,” McGinty says. “A lot of the items are high-waisted, don’t even really fit. And when you’re homeless you’re trying to look for jobs, so you really want to have some nice clothing.”

The VA Hospital says they aren’t allowed to reach out to people for donations. People can only come to them, which makes it likely that until donations increase, this issue will continue.

Brown hopes that more people will join in to get more donations for those in need.

“They appreciate what they get, and I appreciate what they’ve done.” 

Clare Stukel is a journalism student at the University of Illinois. This story is the result of an ongoing collaboration between WILL and journalism faculty at the U of I College of Media.