DAYTON — Nathan Gunter, an intern at the Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, is pouring his heart and soul into the organization’s Service to the Armed Forces’ Java for GIs program.
The Red Cross is collecting coffee throughout the Dayton and Cincinnati regions which will be distributed to local veterans’ hospitals and Wright-Patterson Medical Center. Early next year, the Red Cross will host coffee socials where civilians will be invited to share conversation and fellowship with veterans over a cup of coffee.
Since Veterans Day, Gunter, a veteran and student at Wright State University, has collected thousands of cans, bags and individual coffee and k-cups. Gunter’s efforts were fueled by the program’s overall purpose of connecting civilians and veterans. He worked with Wright State’s Veteran & Military Center, as well as the university’s student body and faculty — in particular Dr. Seth Gordan, who helped him spread the word across campus.
“We had the idea of giving our local veterans something that would help bring them together with civilians for a visit — a simple cup of coffee,” Gunter said. “As a veteran, I know the importance of sharing your stories. These conversations can be therapeutic, so why not enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee in your hand?”
The Red Cross is still collecting coffee which can be dropped off at Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, 370 West First Street, Dayton or Wright State Veteran & Military Center, 131 Allyn Hall.