(Source: Randy Wilson)
(Source: Randy Wilson)

Looking for a way to get involved during the holiday season? Well the Veterans Upward Bound has a shoe drive just for you!

Shoe Boxes for Veterans is a public service activity that helps to support the homeless veterans who are in nursing homes and are least likely to have resources.

“It shows the support of veterans in a bigger sense (by helping) those who have given so much to us. It’s a great way to let them know that we have not forgotten them,” Randy Wilson, director of Veterans Upward Bound, said.

The Veterans Upward Bound is accepting shoe boxes filled with items of your choice as long as they are appropriate. Ensure that all items are non-perishables and please do not include monetary gifts or alcohol.

Clothing is the most needed donation item. It is a useful gift because some veterans are in and out of homeless centers and clothing helps them when they are in need. Plastic storage boxes are also helpful to use instead of a shoe box so that veterans can keep them afterwards.

Some other ideas for donations would be small items such as toiletries, hats and gloves. In the past, people have even included candy and their favorite paperback books.

Shoe boxes are delivered to many different homeless veterans facilities within the cities of Ogden and Salt Lake.

“This is a really good way to say thank you,” Jan Pollard, office manager for Veterans Upward Bound, said.

This program has been around since before 2008, and when it started 80 boxes was the average number of donations received. In the past few years the program has received over 400 boxes. The Veterans Upward Bound program is working to increase this number in 2015.

“This is an excellent cause. I get to see when the boxes are delivered and see the changes made in their lives. I want you all to know that nothing stays here at our building, everything is delivered to the veterans,” Dan Czech, enrollment adviser for Veterans Upward Bound, said.

Veterans Upward Bound is a program that helps veterans who have served at least 181 days active duty.

In order to be eligible for the program veterans have to meet the following criteria: Low income status and potential first-generation college graduate, was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces called to active duty for a period of more than 30 days on or after September 11, 2001, or were called to active duty for less than 30 days to serve in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.

If you are interested in enrolling please contact the Veterans Upward Bound office at 801-626-7173.

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