Can shake to help WWII veteran

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

Motorists passing through the intersection of Highway 43 N. and U.S. 11 between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday may see a number of people collecting donations.

Those donations will be collected to help a 91-year-old Pearl River County resident who in a bit of need.

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Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary post 3804 member and past president Penny King, said the effort will benefit a man known simply as Mr. Gilbert, who served for 40 years with the Merchant Marines. His service began during World War II, and continued into two additional wars and two conflicts.

King said when she spoke with him it was evident he’s led a full life so far, traversing more than 54 countries. Today, however, he lives in a mobile home that is in a less than ideal condition.

According to a Facebook video posted on a page entitled Mr. Gilbert’s Helping Hands, water to his home is provided via a water hose, and there are many other issues with the structure.

To help renovate the home volunteers intend to help him move into, Saturday’s can shake will collect donations from the public.

“He is the nicest man I ever met in my life,” King said. “He did so much for us, I think it’s time for us to give back to him.”

So far, Gilbert has received some help from those who established the Mr. Gilbert’s Helping Hands Facebook page, including a new mailbox, car repairs and other work to the mobile home.

The aim is to have Gilbert’s new living accommodations ready for Thanksgiving, King said.

King said she learned that he is also in need of a television after two people posing as buyers of his used items stole his brand new television right in front of him. A bake sale will be held Nov. 10 to raise funds for a new television for Mr. Gilbert. That event will be held at the VFW at 421 Ridge Road behind Walmart. A time will be announced at a later date.