CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A veteran who is waiting out the flood in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois is passing the time by giving away sweet treats to his neighbors and the National Guard.
Karl Peiffer served in the Army National Guard for six years during the 1960s.
His focus during this flood has not been on sandbags but to bake cookies and hand out tomatoes to brighten people's day.
“I hate to brag but I’ve got 200 tomato plants out there east of my house,” he said.
Pfeiffer loves to garden and during the flood he has grown and handed out hundreds of tomatoes to his neighbors in East Cape Girardeau.
"It just makes you feel good,” Pfeiffer said. “Because it gives them some fresh fruit and most of them would just love to have cherry tomatoes with a salad and stuff like that."
Not only that, Pfeiffer bakes dozens of chocolate chip cookies every morning and hands them out to kids and the National Guard during lunch.
He hopes the comfort food reminds the soldiers of home.
“They say ‘Thanks for the cookie. We really do appreciate that. We look forward to that everyday.’ I mean I’ve got them spoiled. I really do! They look forward to my cookies,” he said with a laugh.
And Pfeiffer believes every guardsman deserves it because of all their efforts protecting the town from floodwaters.
“I live over a block away from where they’ve got sandbags, but I have no threat that anything is going to happen,” Pfeiffer said.
And while the water may take weeks to go away, Pfeiffer said he has enough supplies to continue baking cookies.
"I'll do it till there is nobody here to give them to. That's the way I do," Pfeiffer said. “If I can just bring them a little bit a cheer, to make a person feel a little bit better, that is what life is all about."
And Pfeiffer is far from the only person helping fuel the small community with free food and supplies.
More than 30 businesses have donated lunch during the weeks the volunteers and soldiers has been fighting the flood.
Village Trustee Marlene Freeman and a few of her East Cape Girardeau neighbors went door to door last week asking everyone in town if they needed anything.
From there Freeman said they sent someone with a truck and donated money to buy those wish list items and delivered them to each home.
Some of the most requested things were toilet paper, paper towels and pet food.
"We saw the need and we have all worked together since this started,” Freeman said. “A lot of us can't build sandbags, but we can help other ways. It felt good. They were really thankful to get anything, even some of them who said they did not need anything we went ahead and gathered something up and gave it to them."
If you want to help feed families in East Cape, McClure and Gale you can contribute to a food drive being held at the Kroger in Anna, Illinois on Saturday, July 20.
It’s being hosted by Girl Scout Troop 8544 and will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.