Recently, members of the Alexander Proudfoot North American team had the privilege of working with the United Way of Greater Atlanta to assist homeless veterans living in Atlanta. The joint team's objective was to assemble "welcome home" kits for local vets in the process of moving into transitional housing. It was an extremely rewarding experience for everyone involved.
The morning started out with introductions from the United Way team as they shared with us some alarming statistics regarding homelessness. We were all shocked to learn that on any given night there are approximately 7,500 people living on the streets, in makeshift camps or in shelters. However, it was even more disheartening to hear that 21% of Atlanta's homeless population are veterans. One of the United Way representatives, a former homeless vet himself, gave his account of what it is like living on the streets and described a "day in the life" of a homeless person.
After a brief question and answer session, it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Team members were assigned to different stations that would help assemble the kits. The assembly line started with patriotic decorations and artwork on bags that were eventually filled with household essentials, such as dinnerware and toiletries. Everyone worked together to fill the bags and write personal thank you notes to each recipient. Once the job was complete, a total of 150 bags were loaded onto a truck and delivered as housewarming gifts to veterans in the process of transitioning from homelessness into an independent living environment. High-fives all around for a job well done!
Many thanks to the United Way of Atlanta of Greater Atlanta for allowing us to give back to the service men and women in our community that are in need. It was a great opportunity for all of us to show appreciation for those that have served and reflect on the sacrifices made to preserve the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. Our nation's heroes deserve better, so we will continue to work closely with the United Way to make sure our veterans have the resources they need to live normal, happy lives.