Veterans Day is next week and, sadly, many of veterans who proudly served our country are now struggling to make ends meet. One woman, who has long supported our deployed troops, is starting a campaign – here at home - to help.
PJ Degross started the Web of Support 10 years ago. Over the years, she has surprised thousands of soldiers, deployed overseas, with care packages, cookies and letters. As part of her non-profit, she also reaches out to their families. Also, during the holiday season she makes sure her adopted soldiers get special Christmas gifts from home. However, after attending an event for veterans, who have fallen on hard times, PJ asked her deployed soldiers for permission to do something a little different this Christmas. With their approval, "we're changing it this year from "Be a Santa to a Soldier" to "Be a Santa to a Veteran."
PJ is asking for $10 Walmart gift cards to hand out to local veterans in need. "Put it in a Christmas card and write Merry Christmas or you can put Thank you for your service; whatever you want to write to give them support and know they're appreciated." Then you can drop off the unsealed cards at 99.1FM Talk Radio or Cowboy Country 102.5, Charley's Grilled Subs in the Carson Mall or the Northern Nevada Veterans Resource Center on Plumb Lane in Reno, where PJ also volunteers to serve those who have served our country. "With a lot of ideas and a lot of great ways to help out veterans," explains Kyle Scott, who is the Regional Director of the Veterans Resource Center.
The Northern Nevada Veteran Resource Center works to rapidly re-house homeless veterans and to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless. At no cost to our veterans, case managers work with them for a few months, determine their needs and even negotiate rent on their behalf. "We have a lot of landlords in this area that are very patriotic and they like to help out veterans."
Last year, the center enrolled and housed 370 northern Nevada families and it hopes to double that number this year, which means a lot of veterans coming through the doors and even more opportunity for PJ to give thanks for their service. "It's a blessing. It makes me feel good. It makes others people feel good."
To learn more about "Be a Santa to a Veteran," check out PJ's website: www.webofsupport.com
Written by Kristen Remington