Christy Lucas spent 17 years as an educator before leaving her career to serve veterans in her community of Hanover, Pennsylvania. She said she felt a call to dedicate herself to those who have served the country – so she started her charity, Roots for Boots.
“I’ve always had a generous heart and always wanted to just help people, and I think that just comes naturally,” Lucas said.
Roots for Boots hosts a monthly food drive at Hanover VFW, which initially served only eight veterans in need. Today there are almost 90 veterans and it takes dozens of volunteers, many of them veterans themselves, to carry out the operation.
“It’s more than just a food bank,” Lucas said. “It’s something that gives hope.”
Veteran Vic Roe has said Lucas is an “angel” and “beyond remarkable”. Roe served in the Maryland Army National Guard in Desert Storm and has a prosthesis on his left leg.
Lucas built a ramp so Roe could move around more easily.
“I go out and talk to people,” Roe said. “I used to just sit in my house and get really tense.
Jeremy Jacoby, a disabled veteran, also received a life-changing wheelchair from Lucas, which allows him to play outside with his young son.
“I reached across the table, and grabbed, grabbed Jeremy’s arm, and said, ‘I’ll get you that track chair by Christmas.’ Lucas said. “And we did.”
Veteran Michael Conrad said Roots for Boots not only built his family a brand new outdoor patio, but also put him in touch with a community of veterans.
“People who come together and want to help each other are very refreshing,” Conrad said.
Lucas said Roots for Boots changed the way the whole community treated veterans. “They are not as lonely or ignored as they used to be,” she said.
“I’m not making a dime doing this,” she added. “But I am by far the richest woman in the world.”