Caring for veterans

BY FRANK DROUZAS, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Veterans in St. Pete will get some winter blankets and cozy hoodies this Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday to help them keep warm thanks to Excellerated Youth, a charitable youth development organization.

Dwayne Hunt, a St. Pete resident for more than 20 years, launched Excellerated Youth in 2014, and the group aims to get young people from the ages of 18-24 involved in doing good for their community. The day before the holiday, Hunt plans to have everyone gather and put together the packages and on Monday, Jan. 16 they will hit the streets.

“We’re going to get together as a group,” Hunt explained, “and we’ll go to the different facilities to pass out the care packages.”

The members will be distributing these packages to male and female veterans in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and homeless shelters throughout St. Pete. Aside from winter blankets and hoodies, packages will include such personal items as razors, aftershave, cosmetics and other toiletries.

This is Excellerated Youth’s first MLK Day of Service project and Hunt estimates about a dozen young people will participate, but that number could increase as the day of service draws closer.

Hunt said what he admires most about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his philosophy was his “enthusiasm to generate peace.” As for his own personal outlook, he believes that “you get out of life what you put into life,” adding that he looks forward to helping his community and doing more projects in the future.

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