Last weekend, we drove down to Philadelphia where we attended our first Stand Down event of the season. We had never visited or served veterans from the Philadelphia area, so we chose this location specifically this year so that we could meet more veterans in need of our support!
Stand Down Events are typically 1 to 3 day events, held across the country for veterans in need. The event brings together resources/companies/organizations of all kinds that can help veterans and put them in one place. Veterans are transported to the event where they can get all types of services and care such as new clothing, legal advice, shots & physical check ups….the list goes on! This Stand Down event was held in the parking garage of the VA hospital in Philadelphia, which lead to a very well organized event and easy flow for veterans to follow.
We were lucky enough to spend time with our male and female veterans, families and their children. We know that many of our veterans’ families are going through struggles alongside their veteran. As our founder Brett often says, “When you deploy, your family deploys.” We make accommodations for our veteran’s children by bringing kids backpacks filled with essentials for school, as well as our standard essentials. This year we had amazing backpacks donated to us by Verona Kids Rock and MARVEL so you can imagine the look on kids faces when they had a brand new MARVEL backpack!
At the Philadelphia Stand Down, we gave out 300 backpacks. The event coordinators expected 300 veterans and over 400 showed up. Although we ran out of backpacks, we were able to spend time speaking with veterans and help them work through some of their challenges by providing them tools and guidelines for assistance.
We are looking forward to our next Stand Down events in Cherry Hill, NJ on September 22nd and Albany, NY on October 14th.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to BFL in the past year. These items are all being utilized inside these backpacks that we give out at our events and we wouldn’t be able to do it without you!