Live, Laugh, Learn, a group of breast cancer patients and survivors, one that offers help and support to one another, is now offering their support to another group in need: North Dakota’s homeless veterans.
According to Ellen McKinnon, a Salvation Army representative and member of Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), there are 16 homeless veterans in North Dakota right now living in perilous conditions, 15 of whom are servicemen from the Vietnam War era. Of these 16 men, nine make their residence in the Lake Region.
McKinnon and other SSVF representatives have one goal in mind: to help homeless veterans in any way possible. If a veteran is willing to be moved to a more secure living condition, then SSVF steps in, offering initial living expenses, job training and other essential services aimed to re-integrate homeless veterans back into society.
But not all homeless veterans desire third-party assistance. Some just want to be left alone, in which case SSVF takes a step back. However, that doesn’t mean that those particular veterans are forgotten.
In all cases, SSVF tries to provide these men with supplies that make it easier for them to survive in the elements: food, water, cooking utensils, blankets, etc.
That’s where Live, Laugh, Learn comes in.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, a supplies drive will be held at the Holiday Mall. Live, Laugh, Learn will furnish cookies and coffee for the event, and all are welcome to come and contribute items to the cause.
Items needed for homeless veterans are as follows:
Creamy peanut butter, honey, toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, ground beef (one-pound packages), John Morrell bacon, clear broth soups (nothing cream), gallon-size Ziploc bags with zipper, Ivory soap, disposable razors, Sensodyne toothpaste, heavy-duty tin foil, canned chicken, bath-size towels, flashlights, canned fruit, Mrs. Dash and beef jerky.
If you’re unable to attend the supplies drive and still want to make a donation, items can be dropped off at the Salvation Army office, located in downtown Devils Lake just across the street from Ramsey Bank.
Monetary offerings will also be accepted. All checks should be made out to “Salvation Army SSVF.”