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Operation Kandy Kane brings Christmas to vets

A program that supplies Christmas food and gifts for veterans and their families is looking for volunteers and people willing to sponsor veterans.

Julie Peterson, outreach worker for Bootstrap Comrades, said the organization's Operation Kandy Kane is in its third year of supplying veterans with or without families with a complete frozen turkey meal and gifts.

"Each year it grows," she said. "Right now we have 30 families on the list."

Peterson said she started Operation Kandy Kane after knowing a veteran who spent the holidays alone because his children went elsewhere.

"I thought there were so many other veterans like him," she said.

Bootstrap Comrades is part of the Eagle Bend-based nonprofit Wellness in the Woods, which works with people with mental illness. It helps veterans in multiple counties, including Douglas County. In 2018, Operation Kandy Kane helped six veterans in Douglas County, Peterson said.

She and her family members delivered all the gifts and food themselves last winter.

"It was quite hectic," Peterson said. "This year I want to get coverage out there since we help in so many counties."

To volunteer or adopt a family, call or text Peterson at 320-534-8766. Checks can go to Wellness in the Woods, 738 3rd Ave. NW, Eagle Bend, MN 56446, said executive director Jode Freyholtz-London.