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Sarasota/DeSoto DAR chapter donates backpacks and supplies for homeless veterans

Rebecca Morgan continues to honor her late mother through ‘Sue’s Backpacks’ donation to Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services program


SARASOTA/DESOTO COUNTIES, FL - In mid-December, representatives from the Sara DeSoto Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution dropped off backpacks and supplies that will be distributed to 50 homeless veterans by the team at Goodwill’s Veterans Services office (8490 Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota).


The donation comes as part of the “Sue’s Backpacks” program of the DAR, spearheaded by member Rebecca Morgan in honor of her late mother, Sue Harris, who led a similar effort through her DAR chapter in another state. Morgan organized the first “Sue’s Backpacks” effort here locally in 2017.


Items that were donated along with the backpacks included blankets, clothing items (such as fleeces, socks, underwear and T-shirts), baby wipes, razors, deodorant and body spray, toothbrushes and toothpaste, can openers, rain ponchos, gift cards for Walmart and McDonalds, and a wide variety of snacks. The Veterans Services team will tailor each backpack for the veterans’ individual needs and preferences.


The mission of the DAR – whose members must be able to trace their genealogy back to an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary Way – is “God, Home and Country.” Morgan notes the chapter’s focus on historic preservation, education and patriotism, and says that helping veterans is an area of strong focus.


“We owe our freedom to our veterans,” said Morgan. “As part of  DAR, I recognize how my ancestors fought for my freedom, starting in the Revolutionary War. Today was a day to say ‘thank you for your service’ to these special veterans in our community.”


Community members who would like to support the “Sue’s Backpacks” effort are invited to reach out to Morgan at fldarpatriot@aol.com.


“For the veterans we serve who are struggling to provide themselves with the very basics, these backpacks and supplies are huge!” said Veterans Services program manager Todd Hughes. “Their faces light up with joy and they are so thankful. Thanks to amazing people in our community, such as Rebecca and the DAR chapter, we are able to help make their struggle a bit easier.”


Goodwill’s Veterans Services program, which was created in 2013, focuses on providing comprehensive case management and vocational services. The program – which is staffed by veterans – also offers networking opportunities, emergency resources, and assistance in navigating the wide array of available social service programs. For more information, call 941-355-2721, ext. 451, email veterans@gimi.org, or visit experiencegoodwill.org/veteransservices.


PHOTO ID: 

Present during the donation of backpacks and supplies for homeless veterans were (from l-r) Veterans Services team member Randy Wright, DAR members Patricia Rook and Rebecca Morgan, and Veterans Services program manager Todd Hughes


Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

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