Home with Heroes setting up clothing bank at VFW building in Natchez

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 17, 2018


NATCHEZ — Two unused rooms at the Veterans of Foreign War Post will soon become places of help for Miss-Lou veterans and their families.

Mark LaFrancis, founder and president of Home With Heroes, said he and a team of volunteers are working to re-paint and repurpose two rooms in the VFW Post 9573 that will soon be used as a clothing bank and memorabilia room.

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Home With Heroes is a private, nonprofit that aids veterans and their families through training, group events and fundraisers.

One room will be used to store donations of clothing and footwear for veterans and their families.

“We’re hoping this will be a real asset to veterans and the community,” LaFrancis said.

The room is large, LaFrancis said, and all the clothing that will be stored there will be free to veterans and their families who are in need.

Very soon, LaFrancis said he will have a donor day in which members of the community can come drop off their contributions to the clothing bank and — hopefully — see the new memorabilia room.

The memorabilia room will display a host of local veteran’s belongings and tokens of war.

The display, LaFrancis said, will highlight the contribution and sacrifice of veterans in the Miss-Lou.

The VFW Post, located off U.S. 61 between Walmart and the intersection of U.S 61 and D’Evereux Drive, sits well off the road and out of view for many residents.

Inside the house, veterans gather for meetings, game nights, cook-outs and to volunteer with other local organization.

Hopefully, LaFrancis said, the free exhibit of veteran memorabilia will draw residents of Natchez and the surrounding area to the building.

“We have quite a bit of memorabilia from our local veterans — uniforms, caps, photos, pins, patches and a sizeable collection of G.I. Joes,” he said. “People will come and realize that we are here to honor their veterans.”

Aside from the benefit to veterans and residents, LaFrancis said the endeavor should open up a few part-time jobs manning the donation and distribution center.

LaFrancis said the proposed opening date for the clothing bank is March 15, though that is subject to change depending on any holdups in preparing the rooms.

Anyone wishing to volunteer with Home With Heroes to repaint the VFW or donate items for the memorabilia room can contact LaFrancis by email to: gmarklafrancis@hotmail.com.