Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen are deployed across the globe, going in harm’s way to preserve and protect our freedom. Servicemen and women selflessly give up their freedoms on our behalf by leaving friends and family behind as they serve our country. Unfortunately, when many heroes come home, they begin a new battle that is tough to overcome: homelessness.
One in 10 homeless adults across the United States is a veteran. IAEE sought to change that reality by supporting Volunteers of America, an organization dedicated to assisting veterans and their families so that they can be self-sustaining and connected to the community. The result of their efforts was a generous donation of 280 hygiene care kits for veterans! The event took place 6 August 2019 at the Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, Fla.
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) worked with Impact 4 Good, a company that focuses on teambuilding programs that give back to community. IAEE chose the activity “Stand Down for Homeless Vets,” which has the goal of both creating awareness of and fighting homelessness among veterans. Participants first learned about challenges veterans face when they come home. Then, participants were split into teams and competed in a digital trivia challenge using tablet technology! Each team put forth their best effort in an attempt to be crowned victorious! While there were winning teams based on performance in the competition, the real winner was the Veterans served by Volunteers of America.
Founded in 1896, Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive human services organizations. Through their hundreds of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America touches the lives of 1.5 million people in over 400 communities in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico each year. Since 1896, they have supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Their work touches the mind, body, and heart of those they serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.
During the event, Lisa Wilkins-Cancel graciously thanked the group in person at the event for their time and effort in helping to provide these kits to very deserving veterans.
Following the event, Wendy Whitescarver, Resources Development Manager added that, “These hygiene kits will allow a Veteran to wash their face, brush their teeth, comb their hair; something that we all take for granted daily. It means a lot for homeless Vets on the streets as well as those in our programs that may not be connected to their VA benefits.”
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Visit wiaee.com for more information.