By TP Staff
Published July 26, 2012, in the Tracy Press
TRACY, CALIFORNIA—In the past five years, the Tracy Kiwanis Club has tried to fight one of the most prevalent problems in the Veterans Affairs hospital system: boredom.
A stamp-collection activity started by the club in 2007 has helped more than 2,000 veterans fill their days at the VA Medical Center in Livermore, according to Kiwanis board member Lee Almquist, who volunteers Thursdays at the hospital.
Almquist, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who served in World War II and Korea, helped start the stamp collecting program, he said, because many veterans get “darn sick and tired” at the hospital.
But the activity has proven so popular, he said, the Kiwanis have trouble keeping up with demand.
“We’re running out of supplies,” Almquist said this week.
He said it costs about $150 to equip one stamp collector with albums, stamps and other materials. And because many veterans take their collections with them when they leave the hospital, it’s a struggle to keep pace as more people join in.
“Some of them really get into stamp collecting,” Almquist said. “We’re constantly battling trying to find financial resources.”
Almquist said Kiwanis hope to round up stamp albums, money and stamps to keep the all-volunteer activity alive.
Jul 30 2012, 09:20 AM