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SCCC Stuff Backpacks with Winter Gear to Aid Homeless

Doreen Smith

Monday, November 26, 2012 • 3:53pm

SCCC Stuff Backpacks with Winter Gear to Aid Homeless

NEWTON, NJ--Transferring back to civilian life is one of the toughest things a vet has to do when they return from duty and for over 7500 New Jersey veterans that difficult transfer process has led to homelessness.  Nonetheless, an alarmingly high number of veterans live without basic comforts that many take for granted. Sussex County Community College (SCCC) and Operation Chillout are there to remind us all to do our part for them.

Each year, Operation Chillout’s winter project makes deliveries to locations where homeless people gather, including—food pantries; soup kitchens; temporary shelters and places where some sleep in the open in abandoned buildings, parks and alleyways.

So far, SCCC has stuffed 72 backpacks filled with knit hats, socks, hooded sweatshirts, thermal and flannel shirts, water-proof gloves, and travel size toiletries which came from monetary and item donations.

“It is always good to get together as veterans to commit and give support to a worthy and meaningful cause. We were intrigued by this project and wanted to help out our homeless and the community as well,” says Joseph Cibula, first-year SCCC veteran student.

Operation Chillout began as an interfaith coalition to help homeless Vietnam Veterans. From a single location in 2000, the nonprofit coalition has grown to a year-round outreach program providing emergency supplies, new warm winter clothing and survival gear to the most vulnerable homeless people in 12 New Jersey counties and several towns in New York and Pennsylvania.

To get involved and make a difference, purchase the necessary items and drop them off at SCCC. Cash or check donations are also being accepted—Checks should be made payable to SCCC SGA.  The donations will be used to purchase the backpacks which will be filled with the essential items. For information about donations, please call (973) 300-2355 and for more information about Operation Chillout, call (908) 509-1462, or visit operationchillout.org.

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