Every October, the Veteran's Assistance Commission conducts a Stand Down for homeless veterans and veterans in need. A Stand Down allows veterans in need to receive a medical and dental assessment, a haircut, and a referral for other counseling services, if needed. In addition, with winter approaching, the VAC has long strived toward the goal of providing each veteran in need with a winter coat. All of this is done in an attempt to restore the dignity of our veterans and their families who now find themselves in need.
Mike Peck, the Superintendent of the VAC had, in years past, asked the Vernon Hills Police Department to take the lead in coordinating the supply of winter coats for Lake County homeless veterans and veterans in need. At that time, this effort was relatively easy, as the number of veterans in need and therefore the number of coats needed was generally around 100 or so. We had an area resident, who during the "good economic times," wrote a check to cover the cost of the coats. As the economy worsened, the number of veterans in need has ballooned to nearly four times that, and the resident is no longer able to make the economic commitment that he had in the past to cover the cost of the coats.
As the economy has worsened, more veterans have sought the assistance of the VAC, and more charitable organizations are needed to help address this issue.
A Year-Round Effort
The Vernon Hills Police Department will always accept coat donations. In fact, during the summer, coats are collected at the Motors On Milwaukee Cruise Night car shows that are coordinated by Officer Dan Mean and Investigator Santos Rodriguez.
For More Information
For additional information on the Veteran's Stand Down, contact Superintendent Mike Peck of the Veteran's Assistance Commimission, 20 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Waukegan, Illinois, 60085 or 847-377-3344.
The contact at the Vernon Hills Police Department is Officer Courtney Blaul. She can be reached by calling 847-362-4449.