OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - An Ocean Springs organization that helps military veterans is seeking donations from the community to finish repairs on its building. VFW Post 5699 needs to raise about $6,000. It still has a long way to go to reach its goal.
Volunteers have spent the last five months sprucing up the VFW Post 5699 building in Ocean Springs. Bright yellow and brown paint now replaces the drab white and blue walls.
There's also new lighting, light diffusers and ceiling fans. The vinyl flooring is also gone. In its place are laminate wood floors.
"The condition of it was old. There's no doubt about that. The floors hadn't been done since 1994," said Don Biddle, a member of the organization.
The improvements were funded by a $5,000 grant from Home Depot, but the building still needs a lot of work.
For instance, the floors in the pantry/safe room and kitchen are still unfinished. That's because there aren't enough tiles.
"Somebody donated all of these tiles to us, and we're going to be short," said Biddle.
The organization also wants to turn a tiny storage closet into an office space for the Ladies Auxiliary.
The biggest projects are actually outside. Old limbs have pierced huge holes in the roof of the shed, and the back wall recently collapsed.
"It fell, which is what made us decide we needed to go ahead and start replacing it," said Biddle.
The organization also needs to remove two stumps and an old tree for safety reasons.
"It's diseased, too, and he said it could fall," said Biddle.
He is spearheading the drive to raise money for the repair projects.
"It gives the veterans a place to come. It shows pride that we're taking care of the facility to make sure they enjoy the place they come to," said Biddle.
He said the organization has close to 120 members, most of them are Korean and Vietnam War veterans. He said the improvements will make the facility more inviting, especially for the younger generation of veterans.
"The challenge I put out to everybody on my Facebook page is just $3. That's probably the cost of a cup of coffee, and it wouldn't take much time to do it," said Biddle. "The organization here locally, we want to help veterans locally. We want to do what we can to get them back to their normal life."
The organization has raised more than $1,000 so far through the Go Fund Me online donation site. It is also trying to seek a grant through a local non-profit group.
There's information on how to donate on Facebook under 'Mark Seymour VFW 5699 Post.'