Library Partners With Red Cross for Veterans Drive

Collection runs November 4 – December 20

For our next exhibit, Call of Duty: Kansans In World War II, we decided to partner with the American Red Cross in Topeka. We’re participating in their national letter-writing effort called Holiday Mail for Heroes, where visitors can design a postcard in the Sabatini Gallery and mail it out to a service member overseas—our version of V-Mail sent to troops during the second world war.

Winter VA Hospital, December 2010

During our discussion, JoAnn Long, Director of Development at Topeka’s Red Cross, mentioned that they’ve decided to increase focus on local veterans and their families, explaining that many of them struggle to get some of life’s basic necessities. I was stunned. I had no idea.

She explained that through Winter VA Hospital here in town, the Red Cross gets a wish list every year from the patients themselves, which they collect and distribute year-round. Some have no family, are seriously ill or injured, and just getting some of these basic supplies means the world to them.

The collection box is located to the left of the Circulation security gates in the Library Rotunda. On each side is a list of items some of our local veterans have personally requested. If you have any questions, feel free to call (580-4515) or email me (

Here’s a list of stuff we’re trying to collect:

Decaf Coffee (3 lb can)
Deodorant (spray or stick)
Body Wash
Postage Stamps
Oral Hygiene (toothpaste, toothbrush, denture brush)
Denture Adhesive & Cleanser
Hand and Body Lotion
Combs, Hairbrushes
Shampoo & Cream Rinse
Ethnic Products
Shaving Cream
Body Powder
Bottled Water
Sugar Free Treats
Soda (cans in diet/regular
Popcorn (microwave)
Healthy Snacks (single packs)
Underwear, Diabetic & Regular Socks, T-Shirts
Pocket size notebooks (no spiral)
Coats / Lightweight jackets
Gloves, Scarves, Hats
*Containers should be plastic and contents will need to be alcohol–free

Paperback books (no fantasy, science fiction, romance)
Tennis Shoes
Clothing (men & women)

Nylon Wallets
Pocket-sized Notepads (no spiral)
Individually Packaged Snack Items
Ball Caps
Travel Games
Travel Insulated Coffee Mugs (plastic)
Crossword Puzzles
Word Search Books
Address Books
Suduko Puzzle Books

Winter VA Hospital, December 2010










Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.