CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Hundreds of veterans and their families received a little holiday help on Sunday.
Ten-thousand pounds of donated food and toys were flown from Centennial Airport to some of the more rural communities throughout the state. The five cities included Burlington, Montrose, Las Animas, Alamosa, and Pueblo.
The distribution was possible through the Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) and Metropolitan State University's VFW Charity Airlift program. It is in its sixth year, thanks to the CABA and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Each year, CABA has collected food and toys at different aviation businesses and events. The association placed donation boxes in various airports and business locations along the Front Range and the Western Slope.
The donations are later loaded onto donated aircraft and flown to several locations throughout Colorado -- during the annual VFW Charity Airlift.
Some donate their aircraft and time to make these trips happen. Others, like MSU's Precision Flight Team pilots, take volunteering to another level.
VFW Chairman for the Airlift Program, Peter Buchanan spoke about the students, "They go out with their own money, rent their plane, buy their own gas and do this out of the kindness of their heart to help veterans."
Snow on Sunday prevented a handful of aircraft from participating. Organizers were able to pack ten aircraft with several hundred pounds of food and toys each.
— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaDTV) December 11, 2016
Collected goods are given out to homeless veterans, those in need and their families. More than 5,000 pounds of food and toys were delivered to more than 250 veterans and their families in 2015.
Organizers said their 2015 efforts also involved 13 aircraft that delivered donations to seven locations.
"I have been on locations as these foods and toys have come in. Many of these Veterans are just barely scraping by," said Buchanan.