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Help Fill Totes of Hope for Homeless Veterans

We’re aiming to nearly double our goal from last year and provide backpacks to 400 homeless veterans.

The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region is collecting personal care items for homeless veterans to fill backpacks for its Totes of Hope Program through the end of February. The backpacks will be distributed to local homeless veterans throughout central Pennsylvania.

“We’re aiming to nearly double our goal from last year and provide backpacks to 400 homeless veterans,” said Totes of Hope Chairperson Lori Demchak. “Many of these men and woman think the world’s forgotten about them. It means so much to receive these backpacks, especially when donors include personal notes of thanks.”

Items needed include: socks (men’s size 9-11); rain ponchos; fleece lap blankets; flashlight/batteries; pocket mirror; decks of cards; puzzle books; pens/notepads; sewing kits; safety pins; adhesive bandages; triple antibiotic ointment; hydrocortisone cream; cotton swabs; lip balm; toothbrushes (toothbrush cover); toothpaste; dental floss; mouthwash (small bottle); deodorant; bars of soap; body wash; lotion (small bottle); disposable razors; shaving cream; combs/brushes; pocket tissues (no boxes); hand sanitizer (travel size); nail clippers; sturdy backpack (at least 17” deep and dark color); and notes of thanks.

Only new items will be accepted.

Personal care items and monetary donations will be accepted at the Red Cross Office in Harrisburg (1804 N. Sixth St.), as well as all local Red Cross offices throughout central Pennsylvania.

Each of Karns Foods eight supermarkets is also collecting donations. Contact your local Red Cross office for business hours or visit for more information.

All questions concerning the Totes of Hope Program should be directed to Lori Demchak at or 717-257-1822, Ext. 1251.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge and is made possible by the voluntary donations of time and money from caring individuals and, in part, by contributions given through the United Way.

You can help people affected by disasters such as floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to learn more. Contributions may be sent to The American Red Cross, 1804 N. Sixth St., Harrisburg, PA 17102.