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Chippewa Valley coming together to help homeless vets

CHIPPEWA VALLEY, WI (WEAU) --The country jam grounds come to life today to host a benefit concert; with all the proceeds going to the men and women who served our country, and are in need of a place to call home.


The 3rd annual Hogs and Hops Festival was about more than just music and fun. Concert goers got a chance to give a long-lasting gift to homeless veteran in the Chippewa Valley, and beyond.


“We're collecting goods at all of our shows to help these guys,” said Darrell Marrier.


Darrell and Chauncey Marrier of Rosewater founded The Hands Foundation 10 years ago; and recently picked up a cause- helping homeless veterans with their everyday needs.


“We had someone drop off 500 T-shirts, brand new! Quilts, sleeping bags, socks, underwear-things we take for granted,” explained event coordinator Scott Marrier.


With nearly 100 homeless vets in the Chippewa Valley, close to four-thousand in Minneapolis alone, and more than 75-thousand in the country, Hands Foundation thought something needed to be done.


“Just the phrase ‘homeless vets’ –that is something we felt shouldn't even exist,” said Chauncey Marrier.


“A lot of them get sent out for fight wars for us. And returning home they're left with nothing,” said Darrell Marrier.


“We're trying to get people involved. This is an awareness campaign,” added Scott Marrier.


And their voice echoed across the Chippewa Valley.


“Why would not do this? It's just logical that we'd want to help out any vets, but especially our homeless vets,” explained Chippewa Falls High School Football Coach Chuck Raykovich.


The Chi-Hi football team is collecting items on behalf of Hands Foundation at their next 3 home games.The first collection was done on Friday, and even on a short notice, Raykovich says more than 100 items have been collected.


“I think it is really important for the community to look out after homeless vets. They've done so much for us,” said Chauncey Marrier.


The group says the goal for the event is to fill the donation trailer with as many items as possibly.“Beyond that we're hoping to get them off the streets and get them housing, and then jobs -that's a long term goal,” added Darrell Marrier.

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