Today: Jun 25, 2024

Operation give back aims to help veterans

photo courtesy | facebook.com/scsuveterans Southern’s official logo for the Veteran’s club. They are collecting donations at the Veterans and Adult Services room to be sent to troops that are overseas.

Amanda Brail – News Reporter

Biancesca Rivera, a member of the Veteran’s Club at SCSU, wants students to keep in mind that we still have troops overseas, despite the end of the war.

“Even though it’s been more than ten years we still have troops over in Afghanistan,” she said, “and they need our help — they need to feel that we care.”

 

photo courtesy | facebook.com/scsuveteransThe drive lasts from March 18 to April 19.
photo courtesy | facebook.com/scsuveterans
The drive lasts from March 18 to April 19.

Rivera, along with other members of the Veteran’s Club, said she put together the Operation Give Back event taking place at Southern March 18 through Apr. 19, so that people are more aware of troops that are still fighting for the United States and risking their lives every day.

She said that she has seen first-hand how much the support from home helps the troops and that it is important to show them that we are grateful for their service.

“Our mission is to give hope to troops overseas,” she said. “This operation is a way of giving back and saying thank you.”

According to the SCSU Veteran’s Association Facebook page, the club will be collecting items for Operation Give Back such as toiletries, food, and phone cards to be sent in care packages to a unit of over 130 people that is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Jack Mordente, director of the Veteran’s Office at SCSU, said that the University has participated in events like this before and he is hoping for the best.

“There are so many organizations nowadays that are looking to help and that is a really positive thing,” he said. “It gets overwhelming sometimes, but it’s great.”

Mordente said he is also looking forward to the Wounded Warrior Fundraiser that the Veteran’s Association will be hosting on Apr. 24. The fundraiser, which will be held in the Academic Quad, will raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project which benefits disabled American veterans and their families, according to the group’s official Facebook event page.

He said that the group made over $2,000 last year to give to the Wounded Warrior Project and that club members are already hard at work making “survival bracelets” to sell and volunteering to make baked goods.

photo courtesy | facebook.com/scsuveteransSouthern’s official logo for the Veteran’s club.  They are collecting donations at the Veterans and Adult Services room to be sent to troops that are overseas.
photo courtesy | facebook.com/scsuveterans
Southern’s official logo for the Veteran’s club. They are collecting donations at the Veterans and Adult Services room to be sent to troops that are overseas.

Mordente also said that the Veteran’s Club has many other events planned such as the upcoming Veteran’s softball game and an annual fundraiser at O’Toole’s Pub in New Haven to honor veteran Nick Madaras who lost his life to a road side bomb while serving in Iraq. The “Kick for Nick” fundraiser is usually a success, according to Mordente, and he said he hopes that the fundraising efforts for Operation Give Back and the Wounded Warrior Project are just as successful.

Both Mordenta and Rivera said they are grateful to be involved in the programs, happy that they have the opportunity to give back to troops, and glad they can help the university give back, as well.

“It’s great seeing vets help vets,” said Mordente, “I just hope we can collect as many items as possible for the soldiers that are still overseas.”

Rivera said what her hopes and expectations are for Operation Give Back in the coming weeks:

“There are not a lot of donations so far, but it’s only been two weeks,” she said. “We are hoping for more, but people care so we think the donations will start coming in.”

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