The Elks would like to tan your hide
November 2, 2009
Local hunters have the opportunity to stretch out a helping hand to veterans in need. The Elks have begun the annual collection of deer, elk and other animal hides which will be tanned and distributed for recreational and occupational therapy throughout the Veterans Administration health-care system to OUR Disabled Veterans’. The Elks also have a program in place where tanned leather is cut and sewn into specially designed fingerless gloves, which are furnished to Veterans confined to wheelchairs to protect their hands during movement. The drive is part of a nationwide leather program that the Elks have been operating since 1948. The motto of the Elks National Veterans Service Commission is: “So long as there are Veterans, the benevolent and protective order of Elks will never forget them.”
Once donated, volunteers clean, salt, fold and stack the hides. They are then transported to tanneries for processing. After cleaning and tanning, a portion of the leather is made available in craft kits to Veterans to make wallets, clothing, belts and moccasins for personal use or to enter in arts and crafts shows. The remainder of the leather is made into fingerless wheelchair gloves for disabled Vets and is distributed through the VA system by representatives of the Elk’s. The program is funded by the Elk’s at no cost to veterans or the government. In fact, “Elks Leather” has become a national by-word among veteran patients everywhere.
Our veterans responded willingly to our call, and now it is only fitting that we respond to their needs.
To donate your hide, please fold it flesh to flesh (you may salt it to help preserve it) and drop it off at Brighton Elk’s Lodge, 101 N Main St, Brighton, Colo., 80601.
For more information on how to properly prepare, care for and donate a hide or to participate in this program, please contact Mark Sidman, Brighton Lodge #1586, Lodge Chairman, Colorado Veteran’s Leather Program, at (303) 594-1831, CSidman@netzero.com or Jim Vincent, Brighton Elk’s Lodge #1586, State Chairman, Colorado Veteran’s Leather Program at (720) 685-3208, Jim.Vincent@live.com.