Stamps For The Wounded Offers Veterans A Hobby

Posted: December 15, 2000

Stamps for the Wounded is a little-publicized volunteer group that collects millions of stamps and related materials for wounded veterans.

The organization, now completing its 58th year, accepts donations of stamps, covers, albums, catalogs, stock books, trade journals, magnifiers, tongs and gauges.

"We need material throughout the year, but it is especially welcomed as fall is followed by holiday time," said John Hotchner, vice president for Stamps for the Wounded.

Stamps for the Wounded serves thousands of in- and outpatients through clubs and occupational therapy programs in veterans hospitals and convalescent centers nationwide.

Hotchner has received letters over the years from veterans and hospital officials attesting to the therapeutic impact of the hobby on wounded veterans.

"Stamps help veterans occupy their time productively," he said, "and help to develop goals that keep up interest in the hobby and in life itself."

For 2000, more than 10 million stamps have been collected by the Lions International Stamp Club, the sponsoring organization. Along with other material, the stamps are distributed to 12 veterans hospitals. At one time, Stamps for the Wounded served more than 50 veterans hospitals.

Stamps for the Wounded was founded in 1942 by Ernie Kehr, collector and author, at the request of a friend from a Staten Island, N.Y., veterans hospital for some activity for the veterans. Kehr responded, even taking stamps from his collections as a start, and enlisted the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a collector since childhood.

Donations should be sent to Stamps for the Wounded, Box 1125, Falls Church, Va., 22041. Contributions are tax-deductible, and receipts will be granted on request.

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