‘An angel’: Business owner gifts building to veterans’ organization

HANOVER, YORK COUNTY, PA (WPMT) -- Chris Waltz spends more time in her garage than even her own home in Hanover.

She is the founder of the non-profit organization For The Love Of A Veteran.

All the items in her garage get boxed up and shipped to 5,000 troops overseas each and every month.

"It's just a little bit of love from home so they know people care," explained Chris Waltz.

She also helps their families and homeless veterans in several states.

"I'll put it this way when I first started doing this, I said to my husband, I said, 'why can't someone give us a building?' and I'm like, 'that is logical to think that way," laughed Waltz.

It apparently wasn't as crazy as Waltz thought.

"I did a little research on what does; she changes peoples' lives," explained Chuck Messersmith, the owner of Bourbon Bar & Grille in Hanover.

Now, Messersmith is changing her life and many others in the process.

"He goes, 'I'm giving you this!' I'm like, 'what!'" explained Waltz.

Messersmith didn't give her money, clothes, or food; he gave Waltz a building on Carlisle Pike in Hanover.

"He goes, 'I'm giving you this. I'm donating it. I believe in you. I believe in your organization. I want you to help more people. I want more people to have access to you and see what you're doing. It's yours.' I didn't know what to say. I was speechless," added Waltz.

What would have been the Bourbon Bakery, next to the Bourbon Bar And Grille, will become like a commissary, except free.

"We're going to have clothing in here, and hygiene items, so area veteran families in need and homeless veterans, military families can come in and get those items for free," explained Waltz.

"They sacrifice everything for our freedom, and this is the only way I can give back is to give this to her, to help her do what she does," added Messersmith.

Messersmith also bought Waltz a washer and dryer so she can wash the clothes; the building will also serve as the organization's office.

They plan to build shelves to store all the items.

For both Messersmith and Waltz, it's a gift close to heart. Chuck's son Jose is currently stationed in Korea.

"I have always said that when you pair with people that have the vested interest cause he has a son in the military like I do, those are the people you want to pair with because they're truly genuine and will help you," said Waltz. "He is an angel. He sure is now our angel.