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★ News ★
Increased Outreach Brings Greater Attendance and Expanded Services to the 2014 Stand Down
The 2014 North Coast Stand Down has just wrapped up a three-day service event and this year was one for the record books. Everywhere were people in our community going above and beyond. Homeless veterans secured transitional housing; there was dental care, veterinary care for pets and service animals, childcare, brand new boots, outdoor gear, brand new cots for vets staying on-site for the entire event. Almost 2,500 fresh-cooked, nutritious meals were served by volunteers who worked until they found they couldn't stand any longer.
I can't tell you how many veterans called my attention to the new haircut they received. Seemingly such a small thing, but new clothes, a shower and haircut in combination with a Stand Down issue Veteran t-shirt made all participants easily recognizable as an honored guest.
For me this was a milestone. I truly believe that we, as a community, are better for taking care of the veterans that have given so much in the service of our country. I felt certain that our local businesses, community organizations, friends and neighbors would come together to make this event a reality and they did. We're going to do our best to thank them all. Please check out our Sponsor Page and add your thanks when you get the chance. It feels good to be proud to live in Humboldt County.
I am continually asked why we need the North Coast Stand Down. People don't realize the barriers that can exist between veterans and receiving the benefits they earned with their service, and how difficult it can be for them to reconnect with their communities. But when people are shown this need that exists in our community, they rise to the challenge in so many ways. As long as there are veterans in need there should be a Stand Down in Humboldt County.
Next year will be our ten-year anniversary. I say we plan big. A mobile optometry clinic is high on our wish list. Sadly, there are so many veterans in need of glasses with no means of getting them.
And so the planning for 2015 starts — tomorrow.
Yours in gratitude,
Mona Daly, Board President