Creating a miracle on 54th Street

Travis Rogers, Jr.

Creating a miracle on 54th Street

2 min.
May 31, 2022

The work of The Hands Foundation started over 16 years ago when Withee brothers Darrell and Chauncey Marrier got involved with helping rebuild in Mexico and Biloxi, MS, from the devastation of hurricanes which struck in 2005. The brothers and friends with them made several trips to the wrecked areas to help with the massive clean-up.

The Hands Foundation has partnered with Every Third Saturday (ETS) and Tom McKenna, the director of ETS over the last 10 years. That partnership is addressing the psychological and physiological issues of veterans in need.

McKenna created a help organization called “Help-A-Vet” wherein there are no salaries or paid staff members. Large governmental organizations, such as the Veterans Administration, may work admirably in trying to alleviate veterans’ homelessness, but they often fail over time because the veterans may not fit the program that has been created. McKenna believes that helping a veteran to rediscover for themselves who they are, and creating the conditions necessary for success, provides a “template for long term success and stability.”

McKenna remembers how one day he was driving and saw a man on the street corner with a sign which read “Marine vet. Anything helps. God Bless.” McKenna explained that he had driven by men just like that so many times before and he doesn’t know what made this man or this day any different. He turned around and found the man again. He approached the ex-marine and asked him how he came to be there — homeless and without work. The veteran replied, “I don’t even know anymore.” McKenna asked, “Well, what do you need?” The vet thought and said, “Well, I really need underwear.” 

McKenna took the guy to a store and gave him money to purchase underwear. He only saw the man one other time but the marine recognized his benefactor and lifted his shirt and pulled up the underwear waist-band to show McKenna the evidence of what McKenna had bought for him. “He was letting me know that he was okay.”

(Read more in the 6 1 22 print edition)

This article was orginally reported by
Travis Rogers, Jr.

Travis is a contributor in religion and entertainment.