Ocean City Veterans in need of community?s support
According to Commander Bob Shiffner, VFW Post 8296, which is run by volunteers, currently serves 220 veterans, yet only two percent are active members.
"Up until about 8 years ago, [the Post] was still going well but things were starting to decline," said Shiffner. "The population was getting older, people didn't want to drive, [the Post] was only serving members and guests, and things just kind of started falling apart."
Shiffner says in a meeting last Tuesday, members agreed to maintain the Post's charter, as well as get an appraisal on the building in case they needed to sell it.
But Shiffner is not ready to give up just yet. He says if six other people could commit the same kind of time the current 3-4 volunteers do, VFW 8296 could host more events, thus, raise enough money to stay in their current location.
"We need people to step up and take an interest," said Shiffner. "We need people to take the reins, volunteer time, and dedicate themselves to keep the building alive. It's all about bodies. I mean, people can help us with money and donations, but you'd only be kicking the can further down the road if you can't get people to come in and help out."
Shiffner says the Post will have to remain open until the end of October due to prior commitments; however, if nothing seems to change by then, they'll need to shut down.
"Unless we can restructure and people come forward saying they can help, we'll start getting contracts to sell the property," said Shiffner.
Since volunteers do not need to be a member of VFW, Shiffner says anyone can help out.
"There are lots of opportunities for people who only want to come in for four hours, six hours, or only come in for one hour and help us clean the floors and set up for an event. You don't have to make it a full-time commitment," said Shiffner.
For more information or to become a volunteer, contact Commander Bob Shiffner at 215-932-0816.