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Treats for Troops Helps Veterans Overseas and at Home

John Jay College of Criminal Justice boasts the largest number of military veterans of any student body in the City University system, so the notion of “supporting our troops” comes naturally, during wartime or anytime. The College’s Office of Community Outreach and Service Learning, in conjunction with the Veterans Association of John Jay, recently concluded a six-week-long Treats for Troops campaign as a way of bringing relief to military personnel serving in Afghanistan, as well as services to homeless veterans in the New York area.

The fourth annual campaign, which ran from October 1 through Veterans Day, proved once again to be an overwhelming success. At collection sites around the campus, volunteers sought donations of toiletries and other sundries, baby wipes, anti-fungal creams, socks, non-aspirin pain relievers, food items, holiday candy, “gently used” magazines, books and videogames, and letters of support. Monetary donations to cover the costs of packaging and shipping were also encouraged.

The campaign more than met its goals, said Director of Community Outreach Declan Walsh. “We raised more than $3,000, and received a generous donation to cover postage from Steve Clark, CUNY’s University Director for Veterans Affairs.”

In addition to roughly 40 goodie boxes that were sent to troops on forward operating bases in Afghanistan, the 2012 Treats for Troops drive also focused on returning veterans who are homeless. Volunteers assembled and distributed survival kits that included lightweight “space blankets,” toiletries, document protectors, information about available services, and more.

“Treats for Troops has become an integral part of the program here at the Office of Community Outreach,” Walsh said. “We mark the fall semester with this, and the entire college community knows it’s coming and gets involved.”

For more information on the Treats for Troops drive at John Jay, call 646.557.4820, or visit the Office of Community Outreach in Room L.71.14 in the new building.