Doing standup work for Vets


A Sunbury woman is collecting donations of new clothes where she works in preparation for an event to help Central Ohio veterans.

New garments will be accepted now through Oct. 4 at Neon Salon in Sunbury, which is in a strip mall along Routes 36/37. The clothes will be given away at no cost to veterans at the Central Ohio Stand Down, Oct. 17 in the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“How this all started here at the salon — we’re talking all the time, you know, it’s a beauty shop, hello! — I said, I’d like to do something that would benefit our local vets that are in need,” said Joyce Pinson, a hairstylist at Neon Salon. “There happened to be a lady sitting in one of the chairs (customer Carma McIntee) that said, I’m working on this project, and she brought me all the information.”

The drop-off box wasn’t available during a visit to the salon on Tuesday, but donations can still be made. Pinson has made a poster and had signs printed up, and received permission to do the project.

“We have a room they can put them in,” Pinson said in regard to the donations. “Then we’ll take them to the Stand Down offices on Harmon Avenue in Franklinton.”

Pinson, who has lived in Sunbury for 34 years, has personal reasons for volunteering with Stand Down.

“I come from a big military family, and I lost my cousin, Lance Corporal Jonathan Edward Etterling, in Iraq back in 2005,” she said. “His cross is at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial (in Sunbury). So just anything to give back — a lot of times people are not sure what to do, so it just happened to be that it just kind of fell in our laps this way.”

According to the Central Ohio Stand Down website, “Stand Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local Veteran Administration offices, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless.”

In the case of the Central Ohio event, veterans will be able to receive free goods and services, such as haircuts, health screening, housing information, job search information, legal services, and a pair of Rocky Boots. Last year, 532 veterans attended the Stand Down in Columbus.

Although this is the first year the Neon Salon is helping with the Stand Down, the all-volunteer organization has been around locally for 25 years, and began nationally in 1988.

For the clothing drive, Neon Salon wants new coats, hats, hoodies, jeans, scarves, socks, and underwear.

“Their greatest need is for anything that’s warm and volunteers,” Pinson said. “I like their motto — A hand up, not a hand out — because it makes the vets feel like they are honored.”

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By Gary Budzak

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Neon Salon is at 482 W. Cherry Street, Sunbury. The Salon’s hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-noon Saturday; closed Sunday. For more information, call the salon at 740-965-2005.

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