Take a look at DVNF’s Health & Comfort Impact Reports, and see the difference made in the lives of our veterans. If you would like to help us make that difference, click here.
“I was truly amazed at some of the health and comfort packages they gave us, especially the ones that were provided by the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
Wow! So many items. That will last me a month or two. Thank you all for caring about me.” – Steven Hernandez, US Marine Veteran at South Florida Stand Down
“Stand down” refers to a community effort to help our nation’s homeless veterans replenish their spirit and health. We provide medical care, meals, clothes, and community resources, all of which help veterans as they rebuild their lives. The major goal of a stand down is to help veterans remove the barriers that contribute to their homelessness.
DVNF helped us accomplish that goal in a big way. In fact, DVNF was our major source of hygiene and clothing donations. We might get a garbage bag of used clothes here and there from folks around town, but as much as we appreciate it, a small contribution like that just doesn’t even touch the huge need we have. Just about all of the veterans who come through are homeless, and they need good clothes and ways to keep clean.
A couple hours before we started handing out the donations, a thin man with a cannonball belly, walked up to the donation distribution table with a lost look in his eyes. He lifted his stained button up shirt to show us a vertical gash that began below his belt and stopped just short of his sternum. About 30 staples held it together. He’d just come from the emergency room. He was a homeless veteran who’d been stabbed and robbed of everything he owned. He needed whatever we could give him.“We’ve got large sweatpants. Is that okay?” we said. “Oh yeah,” he said. “These jeans keep rubbing against my cut. I need something that’ll be loose and comfortable.” The volunteers loaded him up with shoes and clothing and one of your care kits.
Later that day, as one of the veterans was picking up his bag to leave, he said, “Thank God you guys do what you do.”
Everyone was so grateful for the goods you sent us, the veterans as well as the volunteers. One of the ladies who helped assemble the sacks said, “Thank you for the donations. It made all the difference.” — Clyde Vincent, Volunteers of America Tennessee
“It costs $8,100 minimum to put on a stand down for 200 people, so for anything extra, we rely almost completely on the benevolence of sponsors. We always provide each attendee with a tote bag, a bottle of water and a notepad and pen, but beyond that, we can’t afford to offer the material things that these men and women desperately need, like warm clothing to get them through our brutal winters.
“So this year, as veterans passed by a booth we set up for our new partner, Disabled Veterans National Foundation, they were stunned by what they found. DVNF had shipped us an entire truckload of amenities: medicated shampoo and hygiene kits, blankets and socks, pants and long-sleeve shirts, work boots and antibiotic ointment, hand soap and men’s suits. These men and women couldn’t believe the selection of goods that were available. DVNF’s generosity floored their expectations. We’ve never had the opportunity to hand out amenities in such a large quantity as long as I’ve been here. Several years back we purchased some military surplus clothing with a Department of Labor grant, but funding for these necessary items is difficult to come by.
“It was an absolute joy to be able to offer these goods to our veterans, and to have enough for everyone. Because DVNF sent us such a large amount, we didn’t have to worry about running out. We could tell the veterans, ‘we have plenty! Take as much as you need!’ DVNF just absolutely overwhelmed me and our committee and our boards. We are ever, ever so grateful.” –Cheryl Anderson, Five Seasons Stand Down (Iowa)
“We here at the New Jersey Department of Veterans Affairs wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Disabled Veterans National Foundation for the wonderful shipment of goods. This shipment was a godsend for many reasons.
Due to ongoing budget cuts at the Veterans Administration, the funds which were once available to obtain goods for the homeless veterans Stand Downs are no longer available. Therefore, we have been forced to cut corners in many areas. In the past the veterans attending the Stand Downs could count on having a large amount of purchased clothing from which to choose. However, this year we were not approved for the grant which would have gone to purchase clothing for the Stand Down. That’s why we were so grateful for the wonderful shipment of clothing items that came from DVNF.
We were able to offer the veterans (men and women) a good selection of shirts, sweaters, and hooded sweatshirts. Another item we used to be able to purchase were hygiene kits (also known as crisis care kits). These are a staple of most Stand Downs and they are invaluable for the veteran who is living on the street, in shelters, or in transitional housing. Often the hygiene kit offers their only access to shampoo, shaving items, etc.
As with the clothing grant, our grant to purchase these hygiene kits was cut this year, so we assumed we would not be providing these at this year’s event. But DVNF came through with the earlier shipment of crisis care kits and they were such a big hit, much better than anything we had been able to offer previously. And of course the emergency blankets are always desperately needed as we head into the winter season. Thank you, DVNF, for your generosity to the needy veterans of the northern New Jersey area!” — New Jersey Department of Veterans Affairs
“This donation relieved our critical shortages in men’s and women’s under-garments and shampoo. The bottled water and wipes were critical when the Boston area experienced a casualty to the potable water system. Due to the generosity of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation our kitchen could cook and clean (with bottled water) and our Clients could maintain personal hygiene with the wipes.” —New England Center for Homeless Veterans
“U.S.VETS assists homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The supplies given by DVNF were used for different purposes yet with the same result of meeting the basic needs of those we serve. For example, by being able to simply clothe the veterans with caps, shirts and shoes or replenishing veterans with water gives our Outreach staff the opportunity to build the trust and camaraderie needed to ultimately assist the veteran’s transition or reintegration to society.
“Also, the donated sanitizer is used at all meal times to teach basic living skills and reinforce cleanliness and sanitation among our veterans. Allowing us to provide these resources to veterans on the street or those in need has been a tremendous blessing since purchasing these supplies would create a financial burden on our organization due to restricted funding.”— U.S. VETS, Houston
“First, I would like to thank DVNF for the amazing shipment of goods. We were truly delighted by everything in the shipment. We usually count on receiving some percentage of supplies from the Veterans Administration to be handed out at the Stand Downs, but they typically send only military issue supplies and these aren’t necessarily the best or most sought after items. So I do not exaggerate when I say that the most useful and valuable goods, without a doubt, came from DVNF.“I would like to address the hygiene care kits separately. These kits were dynamic! They were-out-of-this-world awesome. We had never seen such useful, well-assembled care kits before. In the past we have attempted to make our own version of a hygiene kit, but the ones that came in the DVNF shipment were by far the best we’ve ever seen. To make the most of the amazing array of over-the-counter medications that also came in the shipment, we added these to the hygiene kits. The items included packets of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, cough drops, and other items. The veterans were thrilled with the kits and I know this will be the first thing they ask for when they come to the next Stand Down.
“There was one family in particular which comes to mind. It comprised a young man, recently separated from his military service, and his wife and eighteen month old baby. The husband is currently out of work and having trouble finding a job. His wife does part-time, temporary work but only sporadically. It was apparent that they were really struggling. They had just received an eviction notice and they came to us, desperate for help. Of course we gave them information on the availability of local services to help them find a place to live, find jobs, etc., but the things they needed most urgently all came from the shipment of goods from DVNF. They were especially grateful for the baby formula, thermometer, medications, and blankets we gave them. This is the type of story that makes my job worthwhile. I am so grateful for organizations like DVNF who generously provide so that veterans’ burdens can be made just a little bit lighter.” — Housing First, Mobile, AL
“It was so humbling to see the hundreds of men and women who had served our country coming together at Stand Down and how grateful they were for the help from DVNF. The truckloads of goods that DVNF sends are doing far more than putting a coat on someone’s back or a meal in their stomach, they are giving hope to men and women who are so deserving and often have nowhere else to turn. And all they wanted to say was ‘Thank you, DVNF!’” — South Atlantic Center for Veterans Education and Training, Columbus, GA
“Many individuals were helped by this donation. Clothing was the top service utilized by the Stand Down participants. When veterans left the event, they were asked to complete a survey regarding their experience. It is their comments that give insight to the true effect these items had. One vet mentioned that they were “able to get clothing items for upcoming summer.” Clothing was not only the service with the most utilization but it was also mentioned most fre-quently by veterans in the satisfaction survey. This shows the extreme need of these items and how appreciative veterans were.”— U.S. VETS, Las Vegas