Commemorating David Turner Jr.’s Love of Life
David graduated from Coatesville High School in 2007 and worked at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was saddened and heartbroken when he learned that some of the veterans were homeless and lacking essential things such as underwear, socks, and shirts.
David was a patriot and a former
AFJROTC Cadet at Coatesville High School
David was contemplating serving his country by enlisting in the armed forces. In the interim, David found employment at the Coatesville VA Medical Center (CVAMC) where he was proud to serve Veterans working as a clerk in the VA retail store. David learned that many of the Veterans he served were homeless and living without items he considered essential, like underwear, socks and t-shirts. David wanted more for the men and women who protected our freedom and he once said that if he had enough money, he would buy every Veteran at the VA a new pair of underwear.
On December 16, 2009
David died suddenly of a suspected heart arrhythmia; he was only 20 years old. On the day we should have been celebrating his 21st birthday, David’s family and friends gathered and, in an effort to honor his wishes, held a drive to collect underwear, socks and t-shirts. Enough underwear was collected for every Veteran at the Coatesville VA. Although the clothing drive ended, the donations continued. David’s legacy of respect and gratitude towards Veterans had sparked the community’s generosity and inspired the creation of a charity to help people in need. David's Drive 831 (DD831) was created in 2010 in memory of David Turner Jr. Since its inception, DD831 has donated more than $500,000.00 worth of underwear to Chester County Veterans, reminding them that they are not forgotten.
As a result of community support, DD831 has had the opportunity to sponsors programs and assist with funding for events designed to benefit not only Veterans but others in our community.
The Housing and Urban Development- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
Program at the Coatesville VA Medical Center supports Veterans, who have successfully completed recovery programs, locate housing and return to community living. DD831 is able to supply these Veterans with a new bed and other essentials to facilitate their success as they begin this new journey. DD831 is proud to have assisted Veterans who have completed the requirements of the program.
Provides funding to honor hospitalized Veterans with parades and concerts, hosts picnics, fishing trips and furnishes tickets to sporting events throughout the year to remind the Veterans that they are not forgotten. Every Christmas, DD831 volunteers pack 1,000 boxes full of personal care products, puzzle books, gloves, snacks and candies, gift wrap and hand decorate the boxes for distribution to patients receiving care at the Coatesville, Lebanon, and Southeastern Veterans Centers.
DD831 has been fortunate to be able to respond to the various needs of a diverse population. This year DD831 purchased 2 AEDs to be placed in locations in Chester County to improve response time in the event of a cardiac arrest. DD831 purchased basketball nets for several parks in Coatesville, including a new basketball post, backboard, rim, and net for the Patton Park Basketball Project in Coatesville. DD831 is a proud sponsor of East Fallowfield Park Day, providing families an opportunity to attend a free carnival including rides and crafts that may not otherwise be afforded. DD831 purchased a playset that was installed on campus at the CVAMC; children visiting Veterans at the medical center will be able to enjoy the playset, enhancing the experience for both visitors and Veteran.
David's Drive 831 is a 100% volunteer-based charity, holding fund raising events throughout the year, relying solely on the generous and caring contributions from the people and businesses in the community. DD831 will continue to fund and support projects that will help the people of Chester County most efficiently and effectively. Because we should.