Coat Drive for Our Veterans

 

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, December 3, 2016

In last month’s blog post, Sullivan’s Pin-Ups announced that this winter they will be hosting a super fun event at the studio that doubles as a drop-off day for the collection of new or gently used coats. Collections will be donated to the Catholic Social Services Veterans’ Housing of Scranton. The date is set for Saturday, December 3 from 12:00 – 4:00 PM with refreshments, a live model window event, and studio tours. You’ll also have the chance to snag gift certificates at a discounted price! The Sullivans’ are teaming up with The NOMAD Project for this drive.

Your Sullivan’s Pin-Ups guest blogger, aka me, happens to run The NOMAD Project and was asked to tell you guys a little more about it so you know what the project is about and why the Sullivan duo is teaming up with the TNP cause for a 2016 season of giving.

The NOMAD Project advocates for change: spreading awareness about homelessness, hunger, and issues that affect our military veterans. The project challenges individuals and communities to become aware and get involved, making a difference on a local level. We encourage generosity and kindness through positive change and acts of giving. The project connects with local organizations, taking on a collaborative approach, with a mission to expand efforts and work together to make a larger impact for those in need.

Both the Sullivans’ and The NOMAD Project wish to support our local military and veterans and so, this year’s coat drive was initiated to give back this holiday season. The Catholic Social Services Veterans’ Housing aims to provide shelter and guidance to local veterans in the NEPA area until they can move on to something permanent. When the facility first opened its doors to veterans, Monsignor Kelly of Catholic Social Services explained to the WNEP new team: “Civilians aren’t always aware those who served us often struggle in their later years.”

We agree. So we’ve made it a goal to become more aware of the issues our military veterans face on both a national and local level and we wish to take it a step forward by giving back to those that served our country.

Sullivan's Pin-Ups Photography in Scranton, PA

For the readers who might have missed last month’s blog post, or wish to learn a little bit more on the current state of veteran homelessness, here’s the action that was taken by the government in most recent years to combat veteran homelessness in our country:

In 2010, the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborated to propose an end to homelessness among the military veteran population by 2015. That hasn’t happened as of 2016, but significant progress has been made since that proposal. Substantial funding has been allocated and programs have been established in partnership with the VA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and non-government organizations across the country, still working to achieve this goal (Coal, 2015).

The good news is that there was a 33-percent decline in veteran homelessness between 2010 and January 2014, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. The estimated figures show 49,933 homeless veterans, a drop of 24,837. There was also a nearly 40% drop in homeless veterans sleeping on the street (Shaw, 2015).

As individuals, we can and do make a difference on local levels just as the government makes strides on a national level. Sullivan’s Pin-Ups and The NOMAD Project invite you to get involved to help our veterans! We hope to see you Saturday, December 3 at the studio, located at 117 Lackawanna Ave in Olyphant, PA in support of the cause. Stop in with a new or gently used coat, take a tour of the studio, and have some fun while you’re at it!

The Act of Giving

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As summer draws to an end, and the holiday season approaches, now is the time to reflect upon the ways in which we can give back to our community. It’s not just large corporations and companies that can pay it forward. As individuals, and as a small business, it feels good to leave our piece of the world a little better than we found it. At Sullivan’s Pin-ups, we want to talk about charitable outreach and what our efforts will be geared toward this holiday season and for the upcoming year of 2017.

In 2013 and 2014, our charitable focus was Toys for Tots. The year that we moved into our studio, we held an open house with a pin-up pageant. We decided then, that in the years to follow, we would hold the pageant annually and incorporate a fundraising element, a way for us to give back to those in need. In 2015, we were able to raise $1,200 for Tracey’s Hope.

Our mission from there on out, was to make the pageant/fundraiser bigger, better and badder with each new year. The beneficiary for 2016 was the Keystone Warriors. The Keystone Warriors Foundation is a Pennsylvania based nonprofit organization that awards grants and scholarships to U.S. military personnel, and their immediate family members, who were Wounded in Action, Killed In Action, or Missing In Action post 9/11 with connections to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We raised a little over $1,700, making this year’s fundraiser our biggest to date. We have decided that the Keystone Warriors will be our beneficiary for 2017 as well.

We insist that at least one, if not more, representatives from the charity are present at our fundraising event. Not only do we want to get to know the people behind the organization we are supporting, but we feel it’s important that everyone attending is confident that the money is going to the charity we say it is. The charity leaves that day with the cash in hand, using the funds however they wish to further their cause.

24 8W8A2911 As of this year, Sullivan’s Pin-ups has committed to supporting/raising money for our troops, particularly veterans. Local organizations that support our troops will be our chosen beneficiaries for all future fundraising endeavors. We feel strongly about supporting those who have fought for our freedom. It is our duty as Americans to do everything we can to see they have their needs met, no matter how big or small. These men and women laid their lives on the line for our country.

In Pennsylvania alone, there is just under 940,000 veterans residing in our state based on a 2014 report from the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics. According to a research study by the RAND Corporation, there are about 2.7 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (compared to 2.6 million veterans who fought in Vietnam). Looking into it further, some of the statistics we found surrounding homelessness and veterans were shocking.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, it was noted that the number of homeless veterans in America estimated at 49,933 as of January 2014. About one-third of homeless veterans were stationed in a war zone at some time. Two-thirds of homeless vets served their country for at least three years. Poverty, lack of support from groups or networks, and substandard housing puts about 1.4 million veterans at risk for homelessness. More than 40,000 homeless vets receive compensation or pension benefits each month, but that’s not enough to find affordable housing. More than 50% of homeless veterans suffer from disabilities.
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Our military men and women return from overseas and face many challenges integrating back into civilian life after sacrificing their lives to protect and serve our country, our freedom, and our lives. Some come home with wounds both seen and unseen. We believe every individual is capable of making a difference in the lives of our soldiers. We choose to give back by supporting the organizations that provide our veterans with the help they need and grant them access to available resources. Sullivan’s Pin-ups wants to show our appreciation for all that our service men and women have done for our country.

This winter, we will be hosting a super fun event on Saturday, December 3 with the intent of turning the studio into a drop-off center for the collection of new or gently used coats that will be donated to the Homeless Veterans Center in downtown Scranton. Please stay tuned for more details!

And please remember, we offer a military discount for those who are in the military or those who are the spouse of someone who is. They can be active duty or a veteran.

Sullivans Pinups Military Discount