By Gil Field
Veteran members, associate members, and friends and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter #91 are proud to announce that in October 2014 the 2300th sleeping bag set was given out to the homeless in downtown San Diego!
It is through the generous on-going financial contributions of friends and the general public that our Compassion Campaign is able to indefinitely continue this humane life-saving program.
In December 2010 the San Diego chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization began the “Compassion Campaign” — an outreach effort to help displaced homeless veterans. Ignited by conversations with many homeless veterans on the street in downtown San Diego, the chapter membership determined that the lives of homeless veterans and non-veterans downtown could improve significantly if given basic equipment – like a sleeping bag, as many were sleeping rough on hard pavement each night with only a light blanket, their jacket, or nothing.
Putting ideas into action SDVFP contacted local vendors about the purchase of 100 sets at wholesale prices. The humble goal of raising $3,000 was announced to members and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, with the funds to cover the sleeping bag sets (sleeping bag, waterproof nylon stuff-sack and poncho).
News of the outreach program began to spread, first to friends and families, and soon after to the general public – the response was magnificent support enabling the program to buy and distribute sleeping bag sets well beyond its original goal.
The “Compassion Campaign” now continues year-round, with veteran and associate chapter members (some who are in their 80’s) quietly delivering bag sets downtown late at night after the homeless have bedded down for the night. This makes finding those truly in need of items easier!
Bag sets are now purchased directly from the Coleman Company in Colorado and are ordered in quantities of 50 or 100 as donations arrive. The Coleman Company generously provides bag sets at tax-free wholesale prices and pays the shipping charges to San Diego. The cost of a set is $33. All administrative costs for this program are pre-paid through the financial help of a generous donor.
Donations may be made online with a credit card or PayPal or checks made out to SDVFP can be mailed to:
11685 Scripps Lake Drive
San Diego, CA 92131
Each donor receives a card of thanks and a receipt for tax purposes; SDVFP is a 501-C-3 veterans educational organization.
For additional information, please contact Gil Field. GField@san.rr.com (858) 342-1964