TallGrass Spa supports homeless veterans
Collects essential items for string backpacks
Distributes to local homeless vets
By: TallGrass Spa and Salon
Continuing its support for military members, TallGrass initiates a Soldier Bags for Homeless Vets project. Now through Veterans Day, Nov 11, essential items homeless vets can use are being donated and collected for packing into string backpacks to be distributed to local homeless vets.
"It's important to connect with our service members any way we can," says TallGrass owner Gail Sharp. "We want to recognize everyone who served. Just because they are back home, doesn't mean our thanks are done."
In a program that began eleven years ago, TallGrass organized support for military members through its Soldier Box Project by collecting, assembling, and shipping boxes of personal care items to troops overseas. Over the life of the program, more than a thousand care packages were shipped. Now, however, with the Afghanistan troop withdrawal and COVID cautions against volunteer groups gathering for packing day, the program has shifted.
The goal is to pack 100 string backpacks and deliver them to the Volunteers of America's Bill Daniels Veteran Service Center in Denver where they will be distributed by the Center's case managers to homeless vets who are their clients. New clients join the ranks every day. "We screen seven to ten vets a day who are experiencing homelessness or who are on the verge of becoming homeless," says Audra O'Kane, Veteran Resource Manager. She continues: "We're here to help homeless vets navigate the resources that are available to them and to advocate for affordable housing in a Colorado economy where the cost of living is increasing drastically."
Items that can be donated include wet wipes, face masks, hand sanitizer, small bar soaps, combs, travel size aspirin and ibuprofen, hand and feet warmers, bottles of water, and any kind of men's underwear in sizes small and medium. A few women's bags will be packed with feminine hygiene supplies and sports bras. Socks, gloves, and hats are not needed. "A huge donation of those items was just delivered," says Ms. O'Kane.
Personal notes are requested, too. Adds Ms. Sharp: "In our soldier box shipments to troops overseas, personal notes were the things that service members appreciated the most."
Items can be dropped off at Wild Game Entertainment at 1204 Bergen Pkwy in Evergreen, CO, during regular business hours from now until Nov 11. The following day, a small group of mask-wearing volunteers will fill the backpacks and prepare them for delivery to the Service Center.
About Homeless Vets
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, about 38,000 veterans nationwide are without stable housing. Of that number HUD estimates approximately 1,044 are Colorado veterans and 650 of them are in the metro Denver area. Ninety-one percent of homeless vets are men and, of the remaining 9% who are women, 1/3 have children.
About Volunteers of America's Bill Daniels Veteran Service Center
The Volunteers of America's Bill Daniels Veteran Service Center offers supportive services for veteran families and female veterans. Along with partnerships with other veteran-serving organizations, it connects veterans and their families to services that meet specific individual needs.
About TallGrass Spa and Salon
With a philanthropic program that is widely recognized, TallGrass is committed to giving back to the community it serves. It is a full-service spa and salon offering massage, skin care, body, nail, and hair services, along with catered lunches and boutique shopping, all the while following pandemic protocols. TallGrass is located in a peaceful mountain meadow beneath majestic Mt. Evans in the Colorado foothills about 45 minutes from downtown Denver where it celebrates its 26th anniversary this year.