In the spirit of Christmas, actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave some veterans the gift of a lifetime.
According to KTTV-TV, the Republican former governor donated $250,000 to a Los Angeles nonprofit called Village for Vets.
Schwarzenegger’s donation helped the organization purchase 25 tiny homes for homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area.
“I am ecstatic,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m really ecstatic, I’m so excited. To me, this is the greatest Christmas gift.”
“This is the greatest Christmas gift!” @Schwarzenegger donates 25 tiny homes to homeless vets at the VA in West LA.
For the first time in a long time, these vets are now off the streets.
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) December 24, 2021
Ahead of the Christmas holiday, the veterans who benefited from Schwarzenegger’s donation expressed their sincere gratitude.
“It’s been a life-saver for me,” veteran Bruce Henry Cooper said. “He has not forgotten us. Not forgotten anybody.”
Many veterans had been living in tents on the Veterans Affairs property in West Los Angeles. They said the difference between a tent and a tiny home was massive.
Veteran Ferris Kearns lived on the street for months, KTTV reported. He said the difference between the tent and the tiny home was that his new residence had “no squirrels and no rats.”
Rob Reynolds, an employee of the nonprofit organization American Veterans, echoed the importance of the tiny homes.
“They have electricity, they have heating and air conditioning, helps bring a little bit of pride back,” Reynolds said.
During KTTV’s tour of the property and interview with Schwarzenegger, steady rain fell over West Los Angeles. Schwarzenegger said this showed how important it was to provide shelter for these veterans.
“It proves the point they are going through not just sunshine and wonderful weather,” he said.
Arnold’s son Patrick Schwarzenegger joined him during the tour of the facilities and spoke of the importance of serving those who have previously served our country.
“We owe everything to our veterans. You know, they’ve sacrificed their lives, their family … for us and our freedom,” Patrick Schwarzenegger said.
“It’s the holidays, anything we can do to make other people’s week a little better and happier — it’s all good.”
KTTV reported that current California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a government expansion of the tiny home project in November. After seeing that, Schwarzenegger decided to give $250,000 of his money to help the effort.
While homelessness is still a huge problem in Los Angeles, it is refreshing to see a former governor use his own resources to make life better for some of America’s heroes at Christmas.
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