As we recognize veterans this weekend, one community comes together, to show their appreciation for serving our country.

For the second year in a row, people all over western Maryland gathered together at the Victory Garden Ranch to pack goody bags and say thanks to veterans.

Organizer of the event Michelle Kwiatkowski said this event is unique to the area.

“There’s a lot of things for Veterans Day like concerts, memorial stuff, we thought this was a good niche we could fill, just some small way to show them people are thinking about them,” said Kwiatkowski. 

Stuffing bags full of candy, chips, gum and toiletries, may not seem like much, but veteran Dwayne Harris says even the smallest gifts can go a long way for veterans. 

“When there’s gestures like this, when somebody gives them a gift bag, it’s just showing that there are people that still think about them, appreciate their service, and appreciate what they’ve been through,” said Harris.

Harris says it’s such a good feeling to see community members come out and volunteer their time to fill goody bags and say thanks. 

“As a veteran, it makes me feel good to see people who may have not served or even had anybody in the military that they still care, that somebody volunteered to help protect these feelings that we enjoy,” said Harris.

But the bags aren’t just filled with treats. They also drop an envelope in. 

“We have moms with their kids, they are writing thank yous, little messages, and handmade cards,” said Kwiatkowski.

Messages they hope veterans take to heart to know that their service will always be appreciated.