Stand Up for Stand Down drive collects toiletries for local veteransA veteran struggles to stand during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Decatur Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2014 - File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
By Ellie Ritter, contributor
Between May 29 and August 11, the annual Stand Up for Stand Down toiletry drive will be collecting toiletry and personal care items for Georgia’s homeless veterans.
The sixth annual drive is overseen by the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute and sponsored by the Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and the Georgia District Pilot International Clubs, a local branch of a non-profit organization that works to “improve the quality of life” in local communities.
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The drive seeks to help local veterans who have returned from abroad to recover during what is called their “Stand Down” period. According to a press release from Northside, “Stand Down” is a “military term that refers to the time when troops are brought back from the battlefield for rest and recuperation.” Every year, Stand Down events across the country and in Georgia provide healthcare and other services in order to help thousands of homeless veterans “get back on their feet.”
Beginning Memorial Day, the drive will begin collecting toiletry items to fill “comfort bags” for Veterans who attend Stand Down events throughout the state. Last year’s Stand Up for Stand Down drive collected more than 10 thousand pounds of toiletry items to fill more than 2,000 comfort bags for homeless vets in Georgia, according to the press release.
Just about anything found in your bathroom or travel kit can be donated. Among the items needed are travel or sample-size toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, combs/brushes, body wash/soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion and feminine products. To donate, drop off the items at any of the 26 Georgia Cancer Specialists locations in Georgia, which can be found by visiting the GCS website.
For more information about the Stand Up for Stand Down drive or to volunteer sorting, call 770-864-5347 or visit their Facebook page.