The University of Connecticut Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs (VAMP) is currently holding its fourth annual competitive care package and holiday letter drive.
Peter Harrington, seventh-semester anthropology major and Afghanistan veteran, said although he had never previously been involved with the drive, he has been in charge of it this year.
“The donation drive is between different offices of the school, or anyone can donate,” Harrington said. “We’re looking for anything you would need if you were outdoors camping. We’re looking for things like canned food and clothes to stay warm.”
Harrington said when the drive ends on Dec. 9, VAMP will bring the donated items to the Southpark Inn in Hartford and Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport.
“These two organizations give this stuff to veterans who come in for it, but they also actually go out and hand-deliver it to veterans who you have to go to because they don’t want to come in and get help,” Harrington said.
Harrington said it’s an important initiative because it’s a good way for people to give back to veterans.
“Everyone here is doing well in comparison, and there are guys and girls who, for whatever reason, haven’t ended up in the place that they really want to be, so this provides an opportunity for people at school to help out,” Harrington said.
Harrington said students can donate canned goods found in their parents’ cabinets over Thanksgiving break.
“Anything helps. For any one can that someone thinks is inconsequential, that’s a meal for someone who desperately needs it,” Harrington said.
Groups of students, faculty or staff can sign up as teams and anyone can donate items to the VAMP office located in Arjona Room 345 from now until Dec. 8.
According to the UConn Division of Student Affairs website, last year’s care package drive collected over 5400 items.
“We’re hoping to make this year’s Veterans Care Package Drive an even bigger success and we need your help,” the website says.
Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.