Local boy sets up donation drive for homeless vets

MEDFORD, Ore. —One local boy is putting on a donation drive to help homeless vets stay warm during the winter season.

“Basically I’m collecting socks and beanies for homeless vets and my goal is one hundred socks and one hundred beanies,” said nine-year-old James Pitzen.

James came across homeless vets last year and wanted to do something to make a difference.

According to the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs, there are more than 1,300 homeless veterans in the state.

So far, Pitzen has collected 33 beanies and 92 pairs of socks. Some of them he bought himself.

“I had a garage sale recently where I sold rubber band necklaces and I put all the money towards the socks and beanies,” said Pitzen.

He’s seen donations come from other states like South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

James is now teaming up with ACCESS and United Way of Jackson County to make it happen.

“I think it’s really inspiring that a kid can tell us and help us to do good work,” said Dee Anne Everson, CEO & Executive Director of United Way of Jackson County. “I hope we can show James that it’s okay to believe in a kid and a kids mission,” she said.

James is well on his way to meeting his goal of 100 beanies and 100 pairs of socks but has already thought about next year and ways to expand.

“Next year I’m going to put out flyers,” said Pitzen.

Donations can be dropped off at Sacred Heart Catholic School or with United Way of Jackson County till November 13th.

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Communication. While attending SOU, he traveled across Asia and studied in Japan.  Rayvan loves hearing and reporting great stories.

When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula and traveling.  Feel free to email with story ideas, or if you just want to say “hi.”

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