Quincy News

Store will provide assistance to veterans

Jim and Sue Hobbins pose in their new store, Virgene Project, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. The Virgene Project, which can be found at 812 Hampshire, provides clothing and resources to veterans, free of charge. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 13, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Jim Hobbins' ongoing mission is simple in theory, impactful by nature.

Hobbins, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, coordinates the Virgene Project, which in layman's terms is "veterans helping veterans."

Hobbins and his wife, Sue, have long been assisting veterans in need in various forms, and come Tuesday, Oct. 15, another part of their vision becomes a reality. That's when their Virgene Project opens a site to provide additional assistance to veterans who may be homeless or requiring aid.

The Virgene Project is opening a veterans-only store at 812 Hampshire, right next to Swick Realty. The store is volunteer based and came to life thanks to help from Swick Realty and Home Depot, according to Hobbins.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, and/or by appointment.

"We've been assisting veterans for 10 years," Hobbins said. "It's a labor of love. There is no charge for anything. It is all for veterans in need."

In recent years, Hobbins' efforts were aided by support from the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center. Hobbins, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., has lived in Quincy for five years.

Hobbins was a part of U.S. Army forces 1944-46, serving in the Philippines and then as part of the Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. Admittedly, he has always had a passion for helping veterans.

"We want to let them know there is someone out there working on their behalf," Hobbins said.

While the Virgene Project is designed to primarily help veterans with clothing, Hobbins hopes to eventually be able to assist veterans find other resources.

Hobbins also wants veterans in need to know there is no red tape involved when they come to the Virgene Project for help.

"When they come through that door, they're with us and we are with them ... we'll help them out," Hobbins said.

The Virgene Project is named for the late Virgene Gilkerson, who served in World War II as a nurse. Gilkerson, who was a longtime Quincy area resident, died at age 92 in 2014.

Contact Hobbins at 217-257-0707 or email shobbins@adams.net.

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