HEBRON – Two McHenry County veterans started a clothing drive to help clothe homeless veterans for job interviews.
Walt Kalemba, a former member of the Marine Corps, and Chuck Stevens, a former member of the Air Force, have asked fellow Crystal Lake Country Club members to donate men’s clothing to those living in Transitional Living Services for Veterans’ New Horizons facility.
The Hebron-based program provides food, shelter, support and employment opportunities to veterans looking to rebuild their lives.
Kalemba said he was close with TLS Veterans’ late president, Everett H. Pratt. Pratt was a three-star general in the Air Force, the highest ranked officer in McHenry County. When Kalemba visited the facility, he said he noticed the need for proper job interview attire.
“There are jobs available for them, but they want to be real presentable when they go for the interviews,” Kalemba said.
Kalemba and Stevens began collecting clothes at the beginning of September, and they already have brought a van full of “some of the best clothes you ever saw” to the transitional living center.
The two men are part of a larger group who call themselves the “Twilighters.” About 40 seniors, mostly veterans, make up the group, and they helped get the idea off the ground.
“I got a phone call from TLS last night, and they said the veterans are just beside themselves,” Kalemba said.
Kalemba said he hopes other country clubs follow Crystal Lake’s lead, and next month he plans to collect women’s clothes for some of the veterans’ wives.
Men’s clothing can be donated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Monday until the end of September at the Crystal Lake Country Club, 721 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake.
“We all have golf shirts and nice sport coats that we somehow grew out of,” Kalemba said.