Crazy Hat Day

During the pandemic, St. John Neumann Academy 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Nikki Gibson, had a brilliant idea on how the students could honor Veterans, and instill the true meaning of empathy and giving to those who have so little. Mrs. Gibson created a fun and interesting fundraising event, encouraging all the children of the school to wear goofy and outrageous hats, on one specific day only, to raise much needed funding for the Vittles for Vets Charity and Crazy Hat Day was born!

That was in 2021 and, to our delight, it has become a yearly tradition at St. John Neumann as we celebrate our 3rd year as the recipient of the children’s (and faculty’s) generosity.  God has truly blessed our Veterans.

On October 17, Vittles for Vets was honored to speak at St. John Neumann Academy in Blacksburg to the 4th grade students about our grocery gift card program and the Veterans we serve.  Mrs. January Gerow, Vittles’ Director of Operations, and former substitute teacher, was the perfect choice to engage this class of close to 40 students averaging 10 years old (if you have ever watched the movie “Kindergarten Cop” you understand why I didn’t volunteer for this treacherous undertaking.).  Being a professional, she engaged the children from the opening statement to closing.  The children were enthusiastic, attentive and filled with questions.  The “theme” of the lesson evolved around “HEROES” and how they should be respected and admired. January shared stories of her own personal Hero, her grandfather, who ran away to join the Army not once, but twice, while underage, and finally enlisted for the 3rd and final time during World War II!

It was quite refreshing to me personally to see young students being taught valuable life lessons that will positively affect their entire lives.  “Hats” off to Mrs. Gibson and the entire staff at St. John Neumann Academy.  We are proud, and grateful, that you honor our men and women who have served in defense of our great nation.

Cordially and respectfully,

Bill McCann

January Gerow