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Published November 01, 2013, 06:19 PM

Overwhelming support shown for food and clothing drive for homeless veterans

You may not see them but there are dozens of homeless veterans here in North Dakota, and with winter approaching, it's important they stay warm. A veteran's group in Devils Lake aimed to collect a few clothing items to bring to homeless vets, but their donation drive exceeded their wildest expectations.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

You may not see them but there are dozens of homeless veterans here in North Dakota, and with winter approaching, it's important they stay warm. A veteran's group in Devils Lake aimed to collect a few clothing items to bring to homeless vets, but their donation drive exceeded their wildest expectations.

It's a little tough to get around in the Disabled American Veterans office in Devils Lake. Boxes and bags of clothing and food stretch across the room--a welcomed sight for DAV commander Pete Padilla.

"To me, it's been overwhelming. This town, the generosity of this town," said Pete.

What started as a Halloween-themed donation drive -- treats instead of tricks for Homeless Veterans -- has evolved into a state-wide effort with donations coming from Fargo and the Homeward Bound program at UND.

Pete: "My whole car was full, and they're going to bring some more on veteran's day, and they said if you want a dump truck we can get you one."

It's a cause that's easy to get behind.

"I really, honestly and truly believe, where would we be if it wasn't for our veterans, because they do give so much. They give of themselves," said Anna Fenner.

There are more than 40 homeless veterans in North Dakota, many of them in extreme rural areas. Donations of clothing items like sweaters and blankets can go a long way toward building trust with these veterans and potentially saving their lives.

Padilla says anything helps -0 clothes, food, even instant coffee. Whatever it takes to help those who helped our country.

Pete: "When you have nothing, anything is great. And believe me…I've had nothing."

The donation drive was originally to end Thursday, but it's been extended indefinitely.

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