Stand Down Atlantic City Recap
On May 22nd, we packed up and drove down to Atlantic City, NJ for the Annual Stand Down Event. We attend 3-4 of these events a year where we see hundreds of veterans throughout one day. Stand Down events are held nationwide and in some states, there are 3-4 stand down events a year. This was our first time attending the Atlantic City Stand Down. Each year we try to pin point a new location in the tori-state area to meet a new group of veterans that may benefit from our backpacks and additional services.
In order to get all our backpacks packed, we hosted a packing event at our storage facility just a few days before the event. We had a great turnout with local volunteers who were eager to roll up their sleeves and assist with organizing and assembling all the packs we needed for the event.
Each backpack is stuffed with toiletry items such as soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, toothbrush along with supplies such as Dr. Scholl’s shoe inserts, water bottle, socks, and ponchos. Additionally, we also include resources which is the most important piece inside each pack. Resources range from books on managing PTSD to local programs/rehabilitation centers.
When we got to the event, we set up shop just next to the event registration so we were the first table the veterans stopped at before going through to meet with other veteran service organizations. We were able to spend time hanging out with veterans and their families and just simply enjoying small talk. We of course educated the veterans on what the backpack was and all that was inside. One veteran in reply said it felt like Christmas morning. We enjoyed hours of hanging out, cracking jokes and putting smile on these veterans’ faces. We were lucky enough to be able to interact with some children of the veterans as well. As many of you know, we have expanded our efforts to not only provide backpacks for our veterans but their children as well.
Stand Down Atlantic City was another successful event. We had meaningful conversations with local law enforcement and their efforts to help the homeless veteran population and had a chance to make our veterans feel loved and cared for by the simple act of giving them a backpack.
Thank you to all the volunteers, donors, supporters and companies who took part in providing the supplies that go into each pack. We couldn’t do it without you!