Liberty Bell continues Christmas tradition of helping Veterans in need

Due to COVID-19, students collected blankets and towels this year instead of adopting veterans individually.

While COVID-19 has changed the way schools operate, it hasn’t stopped an annual Christmas tradition at Liberty Bell. For the past 20 years students, faculty and families at Liberty Bell Middle School have partnered with the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Johnson City to adopt veterans who are living in the domicile.  

Liberty Bell students made cards for the veterans at the VA.

In years past, the group would get to spend time with the veterans and provide Christmas gifts and holiday cheer. This year, the tradition continues but it looks a little different. Instead of adopting specific veterans and meeting their needs, Liberty Bell students adopted an entire domicile to provide cozy blankets and thick towels for the men and women who have given so much serving the country. In all, they were able to donate over 300 blankets and towels that will be delivered on Friday, December 18.  

“This is one of my favorite things to be a part of at Liberty Bell,” Liberty Bell Counselor Seth Johns said.  “I truly enjoy the opportunity to give back to the individuals who have given so much in the service of our country. It is an honor to get to facilitate this amazing program with the VA and Liberty Bell. We look forward to this opportunity every year.” 

Dean Huber, the Domiciliary Chief at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, said that the tradition of Liberty Bell adopting veterans has been great for the veterans and students and said he said he is happy to see the partnership continue, even through the pandemic.  

Liberty Bell personnel deliver donated blankets and towels to a domicile at the VA. PHOTOS BY COLLIN BROOKS

“On behalf of the Veterans and staff of the Domiciliary, I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone at LBMS for this year’s holiday drive-by and drop-off of gifts for all of our Veterans,” Huber said. “The warm blankets and bath towels can add to their personal experience and be taken to their homes once the Veterans graduate. I am proud of our annual partnership with LBMS and the way they honor our Veterans.”


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