When Adam “Tom” Britto and his wife, Dorothy Britto, presented a new community charity project, Operation Warm and Cozy, to the Myrtle Creek Elks Lodge No. 1943 it was enthusiastically endorsed.
Britto wanted to organize the donation of cold weather items such as lap blankets, hats, scarves and gloves to local veterans.
“I’m a 25-year vet in the United States Army, been wounded twice and been in a hospital bed more than I can count and that’s how I came up with Warm and Cozy,” Britto said. “I’ve been that patient. I’ve been that veteran laying in that bed.”
What began as an expansion of the lodge’s community contributions grew when a member of the lodge and military retiree attended the Second Annual Vets and Their Pets, where he met K.C. Bolton, CEO of Umpqua Community Health Center and Army veteran. A discussion sparked a partnership between the two organizations that would go on to collect nearly 450 cold weather items for veterans.
In early February donated items were distributed to veterans at Forest Glen Senior Living Residential & Retirement Community in Canyonville and Plaza and Valley View Retirement Centers in Myrtle Creek.
Operation Warm and Cozy will return October 2019.