BRUNSWICK, Me. — Action Team Captains from Brunswick High School spent January collecting much-needed winter necessitates, including jackets, sweaters, hats and gloves, for homeless veterans.
The project culminated with a visit by the student volunteers — — Stephen Backman, Will Bessey, Kimberly Brown and Jenna Bailey — to the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, a daily safe space in Portland, Me., for the homeless that provides food, shelter, laundry services and counseling.
There the Action Team Captains dropped off the donations and spent time with more than 60 homeless veterans who were being served lunch.
“As soon as we got there, people flooded out of the building to thank us and help us bring it in,” Bailey said.
“The men and women inside receiving help were so thankful and kind to us,” Bessey said. “It helped me realize that these people just need a little help to get back on their feet.”
The student volunteers were particularly inspired by the Veterans Alliance’s founder, Roger Goodoak, a veteran whose mission was to connect homeless veterans with the services to which they’re entitled through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Goodoak spends many of his days collecting donations, securing stable living situations and delivering water, blankets and warm meals to people living in man-made shelters in the woods.
“Roger embodies what it means to be selfless, compassionate, kind and a leader” Brown said.
At the end of the visit, the Captains left with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that the men and women at the Veterans Alliance now had warm clothing and blankets.
“It truly makes you appreciate the smaller things in life like knowing where you will sleep tonight. It puts it all into perspective” Backman added.
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