Santa Catalina eighth-graders collected more than a dozen bags of clothing, toiletries, and blankets for the Veterans Transition Center in Marina. On January 28, a representative of a veteran-support program talked to the students about why their donations matter.
Samantha Stair is operations manager of Veterans Healing Veterans from the Inside Out, a trauma recovery and suicide prevention program that works mainly with incarcerated vets. She told students that their donations are important because if struggling veterans don't have to worry about the basics, such as clothing, they can focus on improving their mental and emotional health.
Veterans Healing Veterans is a peer support group where vets write down and share their personal stories. In the process, they build trust and connection with each other, and learn skills that help them cope with daily stress or triggers. The goal is to help them better transition back into society. Just as service members go through boot camp to help them transition into the military, the program aims to give them a "boot camp out," Stair said.
To learn more about the program, see veteranshealingveterans.com.
Photo: Riley and Miriam led the collection drive.