Annual StandDowns, LF Rotary Club, asking for help

MORRISON COUNTY, MN (July 23, 2014) — The Little Falls Rotary along with the representatives from the Minnesota Action Council for Veterans (MACV) StandDowns are asking for help to furnish Minnesota veterans with necessities.

A veteran at a past StandDown tries on boots to supplement his footwear. Many of those who attend are homeless or nearly so and are able to get clothing, personal hygiene items and help with legal matters, haircuts and more.

“We are asking the community to remember those veterans who gave of themselves and who are at risk for homelessness,” said Rotarian Jeanne Smith. “The Rotary is currently collecting gently-used backpacks, small travel-sized items such as lotions, shampoos and soaps, toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, dental floss and white socks.”

Hundreds of veterans are provided with other necessities such as food, clothing, medical, legal and mental health assistance. They also get job counseling and referrals. But most importantly, they get companionship and camaraderie.

These veterans can get a haircut, assistance with their taxes, glasses, a hot meal, help with housing and be connected with chemical dependency services.

Smith said members of the Little Falls Rotary will package and deliver the  donated items to the MACV offices in St. Paul. They will then be distributed throughout Minnesota’s nine StandDowns.

“We would not be able to hold these StandDown events without help and strong partnerships,” said Nathaniel Saltz, program director for MACV. “Any support given to MACV for StandDowns will be used to continue to improve high-quality services to veterans.

Saltz said the event has a hands-up, not a handout philosophy.

The StandDowns take place around Minnesota in late summer and fall. The next event will be held at Fort Snelling Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 5-6.

For more information about other Minnesota StandDowns, contact Saltz at (651) 224-0290.

Local drop-off sites for donated items are located at Coborn’s, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, US Bank and the Little Falls American Legion.

Rotary members will also take donations: Kristina VonBerge at the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Patience Svor at Prime Lending and Renee Nieman at Century 21.

Donations by check may be made out to the Little Falls Rotary Club and mailed to P.O. Box 414, Little Falls, MN 56345.

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