MySleepoverBags makes donation to Backpacks for Life
Backpacks for Life will join forces with MySleepoverBag to support the Stand Down of North Jersey event slated for Saturday, Oct. 12.
Stand Down of North Jersey is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers with assistance from Veterans Administration employees and the New Jersey National Guard. Every year, the organization hosts a one-day event where veterans can access various services. This year, the event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the JFK Recreation Center, 211 W. Kinney St., Newark.
Stand Down of North Jersey assists homeless and at-risk veterans with a variety of support including Veterans Administration benefit counseling, information on PTSD, addiction, housing and mental health issues, welfare, social security, food stamps, medical treatments, unemployment benefits, as well as employment opportunities, onsite haircuts, clothing, refreshments and other provisions.
Thousands of veterans and their families have received assistance through the Stand Down events since 2006. For more information on Stand Down of North Jersey, go to Stand Down of North Jersey.
For veterans who are unable to drive or get a ride, the event host, The GI Go Fund has coordinated 10 pick-up locations in Union, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Ocean, Somerset and Essex counties. For information on exact pick-up locations and/or to pre-register, call 973-802-1479.
The nonprofit GI Go Fund was founded in 2006 in memory of Lt. Seth Dvorin, a childhood friend of the GI Go founders who was killed by an IED blast while serving in Iraq. The fund was created "in his honor to make sure that no military members’ sacrifice and bravery are ever forgotten and that our veterans are taken care of when they return home.” In New Jersey, GI Go Fund is headquartered in New Brunswick and has offices in Newark. For more information go to GI Go Fund, call 866-389-4446.
Since 2014, Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro, who served six years with the Marine Corps, has been helping homeless veterans by providing them needed supplies including clothing, toiletries and information about local organizations that provide assistance.
D’Alessandro’s nonprofit Backpacks For Life (BFL) distributes supplies in backpacks, as the name suggests, to those homeless veterans struggling to transition back home in New Jersey and a dozen or so other states. “It’s very humbling to honor those who have sacrificed and served our country by providing them with needed supplies,” D’Alessandro said. For more information on the Verona-based organization go to Backbacks For Life.
D’Alessandro and others from his team will be at the Stand Down of North Jersey event handing out backpacks provided by MySleepoverBag, which has donated 120 backpacks to BFL.
One of the primary objectives of the founders of the Hunterdon County-based MySleepoverBag is to “raise awareness for outstanding local charities, and to donate a portion of its proceeds to organizations such BFL, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and others.”