Tray favors brighten veterans' meals

Tamera Forthenberry, left, and Raenell Crenshaw, middle, drop off turkey-decorated oatmeal creme pie tray favors this week at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.

DANVILLE—It was about five years ago that Housing Authority of the City of Danville employees Tamera Forthenberry and Raenell Crenshaw started bringing tray favors to veterans at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.

The housing authority received grant money initially for a youth service learning project.

They decided to make tray favors to give to veterans at the VA.

They’ve made chocolate covered pretzels, trail mix and other items such as poppies, and have themed tray favors for the different holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Veterans Day.

The grant money has since run out, but Forthenberry and Crenshaw said they couldn’t stop making the favors to show gratitude to the veterans. They’ve continued to make the favors on their own.

On Tuesday they delivered another box of tray favors to Building 101, the Community Living Center/Speech/Hearing building on the VA campus.

They dropped off oatmeal crème pie treats for the veterans with a colorful-feathered, cut out turkey for a Thanksgiving theme. The cut out leaves on the attached turkey had words on them such as “Thank you for your service.”

They put together about 100-120 turkey favors to hand out a month. The intent is to make the veterans’ meals a little brighter.

The favors go to veterans in the Green House homes and the hospital.

“We do it every month,” Crenshaw said.

They've enjoyed making the items all these years.

Crenshaw said they make seasonal items around the holidays and other cheerful items other months of the year.

They don’t actually see the items on the trays. But they have a relative and friend who’ve told them the favors are well received and look very welcoming on the trays.

Forthenberry and Crenshaw said it’s something they can do for the veterans.

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