Young Marine Private First Class Jesse Diamond, 11, of Washington, Pa., recently presented more than $1,500 plus additional gifts to VAPHS Veterans.
PFC Diamond worked with fellow Washington County Young Marines to collect donations, which also included gift cards, books, toiletries, stamps, a surround sound stereo system and Wii games. They held the fundraiser at the Steel City Harley Davidson store in Washington this spring.
Jesse's mother Becky Diamond, an adjutant for the group, believes "it's important to show our Veterans that they are appreciated all year long, not just during one week in November."
Representatives from Voluntary Services, who accepted the donations, were overwhelmed by the Young Marines' generosity and willingness to serve.
"I'm thrilled to see young men and women taking an interest in our Veterans," said Cinnamon. "Kids like Jesse don't come along every day. He is going to remember this experience the rest of his life."
Diamond says that it is appropriate to show the Young Marines that with determination and good will, they could make a difference in the lives of their heroes.
A possible pen pal relationship between the Young Marines group and VA Pittsburgh's Veterans is also in the works.
"Hopefully with this one event, we have started a relationship that will inspire the Young Marines and Veterans for many years to come," says Diamond.