An Elgin veterans group hopes to rally the community to send pillows and other supplies to wounded U.S. soldiers overseas.
Elgin VFW Post 1307 is organizing a "Send Something to Landstuhl Night" on Jan. 30 to solicit donations to mail 50 donated small pillows to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, said post member Bob Getz. Landstuhl is the largest American military hospital outside the United States.
"Anyone who wants to bring in something for Landstuhl can bring it in, or can bring money to help us pay to mail (the supplies)," he said.
People will also be able write to notes for military personnel being treated at Landstuhl, Getz said.
"They can say whatever they want to say -- good luck or whatever they happen to think of, " he said.
The pillows were donated by Elgin Hampton Inn. Getz loaded his SUV and took them to the Illinois Army National Guard's Elgin Armory, where they are being stored temporarily.
Corinne Dirks, director of sales for the Elgin Hampton Inn, said the so-called "lumbar pillows" were accent pillows and part of a bedding package discontinued by the corporate office this week. Each of the hotel's 108 rooms had one pillow; about 20 were donated to two local animal shelters, she said.
"We found customers weren't using them at all," she said. "We called several different organizations, and the VFW was one of the first to respond."
Getz said he contacted Landstuhl, and was told they could accept 50 pillows. The other 40 or so pillows will be donated to needy veterans, possibly through AMVETS, he said.
An effort is also under way to see if a military plane can transport the pillows and supplies to Germany, Getz said. Elgin Councilman Richard Dunne is among those involved in that effort, he added.
All proceeds from the Jan. 30 event will be donated to Landstuhl to mail or purchase supplies. The cost of mailing is not yet known, Getz said.
"Send Something to Landstuhl Night" takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30. at VWF Post 1307, 1601 Weld Road in Elgin. For information call Getz at (630) 777-8574.