STATEHOUSE (Feb. 10, 2020) – The Indiana House of Representatives and the American Legion, Department of Indiana joined forces at the Statehouse Monday to fill care packages for homeless Hoosier veterans.
In January, House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) selected Indiana’s American Legion as their bipartisan philanthropy project for the 2020 legislative session. House lawmakers launched a donation drive at the Statehouse, and collected over 7,000 food and hygiene items for veterans in need. In all, House lawmakers and over 30 members of the Indiana Legion assembled about 250 hygiene kits and 250 emergency food kits at the Statehouse on Monday.
“Partnering with Indiana’s American Legion has been an honor, and this special project has given us all an opportunity to give back to many Hoosiers who selflessly served and protected us,” Bosma said. “Through our actions, we aim to shine a light on the tremendous needs of our homeless veterans while providing hope to these heroes, and encouraging others to donate or volunteer their time.”
House lawmakers collected and donated basic hygiene items and non-perishable food items like canned meat, pasta, soup and breakfast bars. GiaQuinta said the donations will be distributed via care packages to homeless veterans across Indiana.
“I’m excited to have so many Indiana Legion members here at the Statehouse today working with members from the Indiana House of Representative to put together care packages for veterans experiencing homelessness,” GiaQuinta said. “Both House Speaker Brian Bosma and I know that it’s important to come together to support our state’s homeless veterans and make every effort to help them get back on the right path.”
The number of homeless veterans increased 6 percent since 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The American Legion, Department of Indiana, is honored to have teamed up with the Indiana House of Representatives, to help our homeless veterans across this state,” said Allen Connelly, commander of the American Legion, Department of Indiana. “We look forward to continuing our outreach, by working with facilities across the state that have dedicated their efforts to changing the lives of our fellow Hoosier homeless veterans.”
In addition to the donation drive, House lawmakers launched a social media campaign using #HelpHoosierHeroes to raise awareness about veteran homelessness and the resources available to veterans in need.
The American Legion, Department of Indiana is the largest veteran service organization in the state and nation. The Indiana Legion is committed to providing continued service to fellow veterans, their families and communities.