During February, the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania will be holding its annual Totes of Hope Campaign to assist homeless veterans in Central Pennsylvania.
From February 3 through February 28, donations of new basic items like socks, toothbrushes/toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, liquid soap, hand sanitizer, disposable razors, shaving cream, nail clippers and other personal care items will be collected at all local Red Cross offices. The items will then be packed into a tote or backpack and given to homeless veterans in the Central Pennsylvania Region.
According to Ellen Kyzer, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross, “Our goal for this campaign is to assemble 250 Totes of Hope which will be distributed to Homeless veterans through the outreach programs of the Veterans Hospitals in Central Pennsylvania. Part of the Red Cross’s Service to the Armed Forces initiative is to assist our veterans, including those without permanent housing. We hope the community will join us in this simple, yet effective outreach program.”
The Veterans Administration Hospitals will be assisting the American Red Cross in distributing the Totes of Hope. According to Keisha Kerr, HCVC (Healthcare for Homeless Veterans) Coordinator at the Lebanon VA, “The Totes of Hope Program has helped numerous indigent Veterans. Often Veterans who are street homeless do not have access to the type of items that are provided in the back packs. With this program the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) social workers have been able to meet the need of this vulnerable population. Often with the gift of the back pack this enables the HCHV social workers to engage with the Veteran more effectively. Totes of Hope has made a tremendous difference in the lives of these Veterans, their hopes and spirits are renewed when they see the special note to them in the bag. They come to realize they are not invisible and society has not forgotten about them. With this new sense of hope they begin to realize there is a way out of their current situation. “
The American Red Cross serves and supports members of the military, veterans, and their families, providing needed emergency communications, comfort and assistance each day. The Red Cross is offering new assistance to meet today’s needs of military personnel, and that often means remembering the forgotten veterans who are now homeless in our nation. According to a recent study, over 20% of homeless people are veterans who once served our country. The Totes of Hope campaign continues the Red Cross legacy of helping our military men and women right here in the Central Pennsylvania.
For more information about the Totes of Hope campaign or for a complete list of desired items please visit http://www.redcross.org/pa/harrisburg/local-services/services-armed-forces/totes-of-hope.