Community exceeds donations needed to repair Veterans Center damaged by fireworks

The fireworks were set off Fourth of July weekend as part of a celebration but ended up setting a dumpster on fire and damaging the veterans center.

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The residents of York, Pennsylvania went above and beyond to help repair a local Veterans Center damaged during Fourth of July celebrations. 

According to York Fire Chief Chad Deardorff, “Someone put fireworks into the Dumpster [outside of the veterans center] before they were completely cooled off, and they caught material in the Dumpster on fire.”

As the dumpster burned, it got hot enough to damage the siding on Mr. Sandy’s Homeless Veterans Center. Luckily, someone was able to move the dumpster away from the building before the building itself caught fire, but the blaze still caused damage upwards of $15,000.

The center was opened by City Councilwoman Sandie Walker in memory of her father, Sandy Walker, a Vietnam veteran who passed away in 2015. The center typically provides temporary housing and various other services for local veterans, but will require some repairs to keep up it’s services. 

In order to make these repairs, Walker created a Facebook fundraiser set at $15,000 and encouraged locals to donate. Luckily, the citizens of York did not disappoint, and donations surpassed the requested amount within 24 hours. 

303 donors contributed nearly $17,000, covering the cost of building repairs with some left over. The extra money will be used to provide “self-care kits” for veterans suffering from PTSD. 

“The kits will consist of “positive things that can be used for healthy distractions and comfort, such as noise-canceling headphones, soothing music and essential oils,” according to a post made by Walker. 

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