With the generous support of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish and area community on Saturday, April 29th, the UConn students, led by Senior Rachel Poulos, completed a successful donation drive for daily essential items at the Catholic Student Center at Storrs to complete 20 backpacks for homeless veterans in CT.
They collected and sorted over 1,000 items then packaged them into individual kits. There are three separate kits, and each kit contains 8-10 items that is put into a gallon size storage bag. The final step was to put 1 of each of these kits into the backpacks. Generous monetary donations were also welcomed to help offset the cost of the backpacks.
Military veterans have all learned to survive for months with just a backpack. After challenging deployments, when a veteran returns home they often face the hardest part of the process – reintegrating into their civilian lives while battling with the hidden wounds of war. It’s important to let veterans know there is hope and they can get on a path to self-sufficiency with the support from their community.
“Backpacks for Life” was founded in 2014 by Marine Sgt. Brett D’Allessandro after returning home from his own combat deployment. Check out their website to learn more: www.backpacksforlife.org. The term, “We’ve got your six” simply means “We’ve got your back” and this is exactly what motivated the UConn students and the community to embrace the BFL project locally to help and to honor veterans.
By Jamie DePaola