The North Bay Stand Down to assist veterans in distress is being held this week from October 15, to 17 at the Dixon Fairgrounds in Dixon. The event is organized by North Bay Operation Hand Up – a coalition of veterans’ groups and other agencies and organizations.
The event provides a wide variety of services to the veterans - including local community, County, and Veterans Administrations benefits, services, and resources for returning Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans, families of those still serving overseas, the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, and homeless veterans who served their country honorably.
“There are several additional and very different needs where we can help our Veterans from Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Yolo counties,” noted Patrick Stasio, Co-Chair for North Bay Operation Hand-Up, “Veterans are returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other actions throughout the world, and we are prepared to provide assistance to them at this year's Stand Down, as well as helping the families of those who remain in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries.”
As in past years, Stasio says the success of this event depends on the willingness of those in the community to serve as volunteers, provide donated goods for the event and Veterans, or donate cash to the cause. “We continue to live by the credo that what our Veterans need is ‘A hand up, not a hand out,’” Stasio remarked citing the motto that has represented this event since its first year.
Because of the budget battle in Washington, DC the President has ordered a shut down on many services for veterans. Even a previously authorized grant for the North Bay Stand Down has been delayed, requiring the organizers to fund the event either with their own money or more donations.
“With less then seven days before the start of the North Bay Stand Down, we find ourselves scrambling to finish all of those many and varied last minute details,” said Pat Sheehan, the Public Relations chairman for the Stand Down, “The government shut down has caused a great deal of concern and uncertainty, as well as a shortage of funding and vital resources. That being said, the event will definitely go on as planned. We still need volunteers before, during and after the three day event and donations will help insure that services will be provided when that first at risk veteran walks in on Tuesday, October 15.”
Go to the website to donate or sign up