There are about 9,000 homeless veterans in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Coming up March 8-10 there's an event called Arizona StandDown happening at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
The goal is to help as many homeless vets as possible.
There will be showers, meals, haircuts and free clothing available for veterans. There will also be housing assistance and representatives with the V.A. to help with benefit assistance, medical services and mental health services.
Another organization will be there to help with their day-to-day needs -- HELP (Homeless Engagement Lift Partnership). Michael and Dawn Marie Rapaport head up the organization and they need our help.
They will be providing backpacks filled with supplies to each veteran who attends the Arizona StandDown. Michael said he expects 1,500 veterans there and he needs that many backpacks. Right now, they are short of that goal.
Here's what they need to meet their goals:
• Backpacks (new or used)
Supplies to fill the backpacks:
• Baseball cap
• Lip balm
• Body wash/soap
• Hand sanitizer
• Rain poncho
• Dental floss
• Disposable razors
• Gold Bond powder
It doesn't take a lot to help, but your help can go a long way to help homeless veterans in Phoenix.
HELP is working with West USA Realty to provide dropoff locations.
Their offices in these WalMarts have drop boxes:
• 7975 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria
• 21655 N. Lake Pleasant Road, Peoria
• 7575 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Phoenix
• 2501 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix
• 2750 E. Germann Road, Chandler
• 15355 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale
• 13770 W. Bell Road, Surprise
• 18551 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria
• 579 Wickenburg Way, Wickenburg
• 2501 S. Market Street, Gilbert
• 1710 S. Greenfield Road, Mesa
• 13055 Rancho Santa Fe Blvd., Avondale
HELP is also looking for dog crates for temporary donation. Many homeless Vets who will attend have dogs. There will also be free veterinarian services available. The crates will be returned to donors after the event.
For more information about HELP, click here or reach them by phone at (602) 341-3822. Veterans have done their part, now let's do ours.