Clothing drive held for Wilkes-Barre’s homeless

WILKES-BARRE — Sgt. Maj. Mark Baylis spent 26 years in the armed forces, serving his country. Now, as the founder and CEO of VALOR, he’s hard at work providing a different kind of service.

“It started back in 2008 as sort of a one-man, Good Samaritan operation,” said Baylis of VALOR, a nonprofit organization providing food, clothing, shelter and other forms of assistance to veterans who have fallen on hard times.

“The service-to-civilian transition is often a bumpy one.”

VALOR held a clothing drive on Sunday afternoon on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard to benefit the homeless community, providing a warm meal and some hospitality to those who otherwise wouldn’t have such things.

“We’ve got basically a small department store set up here,” Baylis said.

There were rows and rows of shirts, pants, shoes, personal items and anything else of value that could be of use. Volunteers from VALOR had more clothes to unload from a truck as items were given away.

This was the first event of its kind in Wilkes-Barre, a city that Baylis says he’s been trying to get to for years. VALOR has held clothing drives in Allentown previously.

“The property manager was nice enough to let us use this space,” Baylis said. “We’ve already had a good turnout.”