Albany, N.Y. - Saturday night on the lawn of the VFW 6776 veterans and community members brave the cold temperatures to sleep outside. It's their first annual Freeze Out. They're hoping to raise awareness and donations for homeless veterans who have been sleeping out in the cold.
"Out of the homeless people that walk the streets in the city of Albany and Albany County one out of four are a veteran. They served in a war. They served on active duty and they're out there in this cold," said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.
Just a short time ago after serving in the Marine Corp for more than two decades Bar Porter found himself alone and without a home for many cold winter nights.
"I was up in Saratoga at the time. All the shelters were full. There was no place to go," said Veteran Bar Porter.
As he prepared to take part in the Freeze Out to help spread awareness for homeless veterans the feeling became all to familiar.
"I had my old military sleeping bag. Same one I'm going to use tonight," said Porter.
Being a former homeless veteran has pushed Porter to fight back against the alarming statistics.
"Fifty percent of the homeless are Veterans. They served our Country. They shouldn't be treated this way," said Porter.
"You just try and find a spot to hunker down where nobody's going to bother you. Nobody's going to try and steal anything from you and you just basically don't really sleep very well and just make it through the night," Porter said.
It's because of that raw truth that brought out local veterans Saturday. They will spend the night outside showing support for their former service members who are without a warm place to stay.
"We haven't forgotten and we've got their back," says Commander of VFW 6776, Jim Ader.
And that they did Saturday as they separated and folded piles of winter clothing, table after table stocked high awaiting those in need.
"If they need something they can come to us," said Ader.
"You might have that old jacket laying around that you don't wear anymore, the gloves or the hat. Donate it because someone needs it. There's always someone out there that needs it," said McCoy.
As they prepare sleeping bags and a fire pit on the front lawn they hope by sacrificing one night out in the cold others will sacrifice too and give back.
"We'll continue to accept donations so hopefully seeing us literally freezing out will inspire people to maybe dig a little deeper and come up with a couple more items for us," said Ader.
"We're going to be here one night. It's the least we can do to bring awareness to their cause. They're out here every night," said Veteran Maurice Catel of Coeymans Hollow.
If you would like to help out you can drop off donations. They are looking for winter clothing as well as outerwear. You can bring your donation to the VFW 6776 in Albany at 525 Delaware Avenue. There will be an all you can eat breakfast for $10 at 10 A.M. at the VFW Sunday morning. You can also drop items off at the breakfast.
Local News <a href="http://www.wten.com/category/173731/-local-news">More>></a>Local NewsMore>>
Saturday, March 8 2014 11:57 PM EST2014-03-09 04:57:06 GMT
SOUTH GLENS FALLS N.Y. – The 37TH Annual South High Marathon Dance kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. in the South Glens Falls High School gym. The Marathon Dance has been around for decades, starting with onlyMore >>
Exceeding expectations, the annual event brings in well over half-a-million dollars this year.More >>
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Police are investigating a threatening phone call at the Four Winds Hospital on Crescent Avenue on Friday night. Hospital staff took the call at approximately 7:30 p.m., and initiatedMore >>
Police are investigating a threatening phone call at the Four Winds Hospital on Crescent Avenue on Friday night.More >>
TROY, NY - City officials are working on repairing a water main break on 15th Street between Hoosick and Hutton. That section of the road will remain closed until Sunday morning when the repair is slatedMore >>
City officials are working on repairing a water main break on 15th Street between Hoosick and Hutton. That section of the road will remain closed until Sunday morning when the repair is slated to be complete. Hoosick Street is open.More >>
FONDA, N.Y. – New York State Police are thanking the students at Fonda-Fultonville High School who volunteered for active shooter training. According to State Police, the training was conducted over theMore >>
New York State Police are thanking the students at Fonda-Fultonville High School who volunteered for active shooter training.More >>
FONDA, N.Y. – State Police say they have arrested a man for allegedly driving drunk and causing property damage. According to authorities, State Police received a report of a vehicle leaving the sceneMore >>
State Police say they have arrested a man for allegedly driving drunk and causing property damage.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – A Nobel Peace Prize nominee will be in Albany on Saturday. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence will rally in Townsend Park from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kelly is a peace activistMore >>
A Nobel Peace Prize nominee will be in Albany on Saturday.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – This weekend marks the final weekend of skating at the Empire State Plaza ice rink. The NYS Office of General Services has announced that Sunday will be the final day of skating for theMore >>
This weekend marks the final weekend of skating at the Empire State Plaza ice rink.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Ninth Annual Hannaford Kidz Expo is Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza, the annual Kidz Expo will be held, courtesy of Hannaford. The Hannaford Kidz Expo offersMore >>
The Ninth Annual Hannaford Kidz Expo is Saturday.More >>
RENSSELAER, N.Y. – Students from 36 schools in three counties will come together on Saturday for the Region 4 Odyssey of the Mind Tournament. From 8:10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the RensselaerMore >>
Students from 36 schools in three counties will come together on Saturday for the Region 4 Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A fire broke out at St. Anthony's Church Friday evening. The call for the fire at 331 Seward Place came in around 6:30 p.m. The fire started in the basement and spread upward causingMore >>
A fire broke out at St. Anthony's Church Friday evening.More >>