Backpacks for Life Assist Homeless Vets

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Classmates Making a Difference

Backpacks for Life Assist Homeless Vets

(L to R) Kevin Clarke, Alexa Modero and Brett D’Alessandro

Last week, MyVeronaNJ ran a story, “VHAS Grads Help Local Vets” which provides an excellent example of grassroots work to raise awareness and help the homeless.

Brett D’Alessandro, a marine who currently serves, and Kevin Clarke founded Backpacks for Life, an organization that provides backpacks to homeless veterans filled with toiletries, blankets, hats, gloves and other essentials.

A homeless Vietnam veteran who he encountered near his Marine base in Rhode Island moved D’Alessandro to take action. With the help of the community of Verona and surrounding towns, D’Alessandro and Clarke have filled over 500 backpacks that have been distributed in Rhode Island and will also be given out at upcoming event for veterans in New Jersey later this month.

“’People tend to overlook homeless vets because they assume that there is a safety net and there’s really not. These vets get back stateside, there’s a week or two of work, and then they’re out.’”

Said Clarke.

Nationally, there has been a dramatic decrease in homelessness in veterans due in a large part to a commitment from the federal government. But local efforts such as Backpacks for Life are also making the difference!

Click here for the MyVeronaNJ article.

Click here to learn more about Backpacks for Life.