The Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA is an amazing nonprofit that houses and provides job training for homeless veterans in and around the Pittsburgh area. They provide service fairs that give homeless veterans haircuts, warm clothes for winter, housing, food, boots, sleeping bags, and more.
Currently, the VLP has more than 400 homeless veterans in their charge, just in the miles between Indiana and Pittsburgh. Let that sink in for a moment—four hundred. Whether that be in homeless camps outside the city, in shelters, or in temporary housing, it’s an unseen epidemic in our beloved city. And those are just the ones we know about and currently are in touch with and keeping track of! This Christmas, we are trying to work with the VLP to help make their holidays a little better.
We are collecting stuffed stockings for these homeless heroes who have given so much to their nation. We are asking all of our friends and family, community members, and colleagues to please consider stuffing a stocking and turning it in for distribution to these veterans to let them know that they aren’t forgotten this Christmas season.
I know 400 stockings seems like a huge task, but we can’t do it without the support of our IUP community. We worked to come up with a list of what items would fill the ideal “Homeless Hero Stocking,” and we came up with the following items:
We are also collecting monetary donations through PayPal friends and family to VLPHomelessheroes@gmail.com.
Donations are tax deductible. If people would like a receipt for their donations, they can e-mail the above address, and we will get one to them.We have donation collection boxes currently set up in the IUP University Police Station lobby, Uptown Fitness, and Upcycle Fitness, or people can e-mail VLPHomelessHeroes@gmail.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a pick-up with one of our Team RWB Veteran Volunteers.We will be working with the Rho Tau Chi Military Service Fraternity and the Military Philanthropy Organization as our “manpower” to stuff these stockings and get them to our homeless veterans by Christmas.Thank you for your help!