Pennsylvania woman leaves career to serve veterans full time

Pennsylvania woman devoted to serving veterans
Pennsylvania woman devoted to serving veteran... 01:26

Last Updated Apr 15, 2021 7:47 PM EDT

Christy Lucas spent 17 years as an educator before leaving her career to serve veterans in her community in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She said she felt a calling to devote herself to those who have served the country — so she launched her charity, Roots for Boots

"I always had a giving heart and always just wanted to help people, and I think it just comes natural," Lucas said.

Roots for Boots hosts a monthly food drive at the Hanover VFW, which initially served just eight veterans in need. Now, there are almost 90 veterans and it takes dozens of volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves, to pull off the operation.

Christy Lucas left her career in education to serve veterans.  CBS News

"It is more than just a food bank," Lucas said. "It's something that restores hope."

Veteran Vic Roe said Lucas is an "angel" and "more than remarkable." Roe served in the Maryland Army National Guard in Desert Storm and has a prosthesis on his left leg. 

Lucas built a ramp for Roe to get around more easily.

"I am getting out and talking to people," Roe said. "Before I was just sitting in my house getting real uptight." 

Jeremy Jacoby, a veteran with disabilities, also received a life-changing track wheelchair from Lucas, which allows him to play outside with his young son. 

"I reached across the table, and I grabbed, I grabbed Jeremy's arm and I said, 'I will get you that track chair by Christmas,'" Lucas said. "And we did." 

Veteran Michael Conrad said Roots for Boots not only built his family a brand new outdoor deck, but also connected him with a community of veterans.

"People coming together and wanting to help each other is very refreshing," Conrad said.

Photos of veterans who have been helped by Christy Lucas and her charity Roots for Boots.  CBS News

Lucas said Roots for Boots changed how the entire community has dealt with veterans. "They are not as lonely or ignored as they used to be," she said.

"I don't make a dime doing this," she added. "But I am by far the richest woman in the world." 

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    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.