The Veterans Affairs Military Programs collected more than 6,500 items to donate to local shelters to help veterans.
“This is our third year doing it, and our biggest year so far,” Ben Nobles, eighth-semester business management student said. “The drive is definitely growing and improving.”
Several departments from the University of Connecticut donated the items, which were then sent off to Homes for the Brave and the South Park Inn.
The Environmental Health and Safety team from UConn donated the most items. The UConn Police Department and then the Student Union Department came in second and third place in the Veterans Affairs and Military Programs’ friendly competition.
Food donations included canned food, dried food, pasta, granola, cereal and snack foods. Toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, shaving tools, deodorant, toilet paper, wipes and basic first aid supplies were also donated, as were clothing items such as sweaters, coats, sweatpants, socks and underwear. The office even received some checks and cards to be given to veterans thanking them for their service.
In the future Nobles said the office needs to work on promoting more. Some people did not know the food drive was occurring until it was almost over.
Nobles said that eighth-semester history student Sam Surowitz did most of the leg work as far as marketing and informing the public of the food drive. Nobles also said that most of the teams that donated were faculty teams, although some students did also donate.
Homes for the Brave is located in Bridgeport and has been providing housing, vocational training and job placement, mental health and addiction services and life skills coaching to help individuals remove themselves from homelessness.
The South Park Inn is located in Hartford and helps provide short and long term shelter for homeless individuals. They work with the local Veteran’s Administration Homeless Service Coordinator to locate homeless veterans and place them into a stable environment as soon as possible.
“We are grateful for your part in making this drive such a success, and we are proud to be a member of such a giving community,” said members of the Veterans Affairs and Military Programs Office. “It is our hope that we can continue our partnership into future initiatives.”
Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.