Campaign of Compassion: 1st Anniversary
The San Diego Veterans For Peace “Compassion Campaign,” an outreach effort to give sleeping bag sets to the homeless in San Diego, marks its first birthday in November 2011.
With a 6 percent increase in the county’s homeless population (now 9000) in 2011, the SDVFP campaign enters its second year of accepting donations and financial contributions to enable providing sleeping bags, rain ponchos, and waterproof stuff sacks to the thousands of people now homeless in downtown San Diego. Often with little or no protection from the cold and elements, an estimated 40% of the homeless are military veterans.
The outreach effort began in November 2010 after veterans in the SDVFP chapter became alarmed at the life-threatening living conditions homeless veterans and others endure on the streets and under the interstate overpasses in downtown San Diego.
Once learning from homeless veterans on the street that every homeless person in San Diego needed a sleeping bag, a waterproof poncho, and a waterproof stuff sack, the San Diego chapter of Veterans For Peace began seeking donations and delivering sleeping bags sets to the homeless. Bag sets are always hand delivered, with each person receiving a set being evaluated for true need. SDVFP veterans go out in 2 or 3 car caravans and also hand out any used clothing, water, and food that is donated by members, friends, and generous people in our community.
Since the “Compassion Campaign” began the SDVFP chapter has raised over $18,000 and have hand delivered more than 725 sets of bags/ponchos/stuff-sacks to individual homeless people all over downtown San Diego. Anyone can make a tax-deductible financial contribution to the SDVFP, a 501-C-3 veteran’s educational organization. 100% of any donation buys bags/ponchos/stuff sacks as there are no administrative expenses.
Chapter member veterans of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter #91, the local chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization, a 501-C-3 veterans educational organization.
“Compassion Campaign” – an outreach effort to give sleeping bags to the homeless in San Diego. An equipment set (sleeping bag, rain poncho, stuff sack) costs $35 and sets are purchased wholesale in groups of 50 as donations are received.
After dark in downtown San Diego, VFP chapter veterans distribute sleeping bag sets after the homeless have bedded down for the night.
Bag sets are always hand delivered, with each person receiving a set evaluated for true need. SDVFP veterans go out in 2 to 3 car caravans and also hand out any used clothing, water, and food that has been donated by members, friends, and generous people in our community.
The public is encouraged to contact San Diego Veterans For Peace and accompany us on our evening deliveries. Deliveries occur about twice monthly as donations allow.
San Diego is home to thousands of homeless people, 40% of whom are veterans. The San Diego Veterans For Peace work with others to eliminate the causes of homelessness and believe that no one should be required to sleep on the San Diego pavement without at least a sleeping bag, a rainproof poncho, and a waterproof stuff sack.
DONATIONS may be made online or checks may be sent to:
San Diego Veterans For Peace,
11575 Caminito La Bar #23,
San Diego, CA 92126.
Donations are tax deductible. Donors will receive a card of thanks and a receipt for tax purposes from SDVFP, a 501-C-3 veterans educational organization. 100% of any donation buys bags/ponchos/stuff sacks as there are no administrative expenses.
Director of Communications
San Diego Veterans For Peace
Patrick Gokey is a veteran of the United States Navy and a lifetime member of Veterans For Peace. He owns and operates Pete's Hamburger Catering in Madison, Wisconsin.