UConn gives back to veterans over holiday season with care package drive

The sixth annual Care Package Drive for Veterans is looking for items to be donated including new clothing and food. The donation box is located on the first floor of the Family Studies building from now until Dec. 7. (Photo by Kush Kumar/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Office of Veterans Affairs & Military Programs is organizing its sixth annual Care Package Drive for Veterans to help keep local homeless veterans keep warm over the winter with clothing and household supplies.

“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this,” first-semester communications major Dominick Zampino said.

The drive is looking for items including general hygiene items, household supplies, new clothing and food. Items of high priority include belts, feminine hygiene products, pillows and pillow cases, bleach and laundry detergent, underwear and shower flip flops, according to the drive’s Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute (ARBI) Wishlist.

Students are encouraged to donate until Dec. 7 on the first floor of the Family Studies Building. The donations will then be sent to both Southpark Inn in Hartford and Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport, with the remaining items given directly to homeless people living on the streets in Hartford, according to the ARBI site.

“I think it’s a great cause,” first-semester chemistry major Janet Wang said. “It is a constant reminder that we value [veterans’] contributions to our country. It’s easy for civilians to go on about their day without stopping and thinking about what they have done.”

UConn’s ROTC program gives UConn students the opportunity to share their college experience with future military members. UConn students are also given the opportunity to interact with veterans, they said.

“Veterans aren’t just veterans,” first semester psychology major Kelly Lunsford said. “They’re fathers, sons, friends and people. They should be treated as such. This is such a hard time of year to be out in the cold.”

Students say these items are small in comparison to the service these men and women contribute.

“If we don’t take care of them, don’t look after them, we are doing them a disservice,” first-semester accounting major Collin Myta said. “It’s not something we should do, it’s something we have to do. They protect us, so we have to protect them. I feel like they are taken granted of in this country, it’s something we need to work on.”


Grace Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu .