Check your closets for upcoming VA clothing drive

Volunteers sort men’s clothing during last year’s drive. Photo by Eileen Sykora

Volunteers sort men’s clothing during last year’s drive. Photo by Eileen Sykora

Diane Quinn

Time is drawing near for The Women of Quail Creek’s annual Clothing and Household Goods Drive to benefit the Tucson Veterans Hospital program for homeless and recently housed veterans. On Saturday, October 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Creative Arts and Technology Center parking area, volunteers will be collecting and packaging donations to be taken to the VA campus in Tucson.

In 2016, the VA served an average of 1773 people at its Homeless Services Center, offering outreach or specific services to those in need. Roughly 10% were identified as serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Eight percent of the total served was women. The need continues to be great.

Given the time of year and the limited storage space at the VA, it is most appropriate to donate fall/winter weight clothing for both men and women. However, plans are underway to find an appropriate site for any article of clothing you wish to contribute.

For both for men and women: Career clothing in all sizes – appropriate for both work or interviews; socks and underwear must be new and in packages, but open packages are okay.

You can best help this effort by contributing the following for women: Casual wear in plus sizes, sweat pants or t-shirts in good condition, shoes appropriate for a work environment, athletic shoes/tennis shoes, gently-used bras; sports bras must be new.

Contributions for men should include jeans in sizes 28, 30, 32 and 34, jeans in big and tall sizes, shoes for both work and casual environments.

Some veterans are in new housing or will be moving into housing in the near future. To help get them settled, the following items are always needed: Microwaves, TV antennas or converter boxes, pots and pans, lamps, new shower curtains and rings, cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper.

Many vets also have pets, sometimes counting on this love and companionship as their only consistent source of support. Those who have pets would love to have the following: Bedding, bowls, toys, carrying cages, litter and food.

Bicycles for either men or women are always needed and provide a great way for folks to get to work or support services. Backpacks provide a way to transport personal items while on the move. Grooming products, such as denture adhesive and cleaning tablets, tooth paste, brushes and floss, are always appreciated, as are razors, shaving cream and new combs.

Already cleaned closets and cupboards but still want to help? Consider making a cash contribution. Checks may be made payable to VA Voluntary Services. Cash donations can be used to buy needed items if not in stock when vets get moved into housing. Regardless of your contribution – cash, clothing or household goods, forms will be available for donors to complete so the VA can send a receipt for tax purposes.

For questions or more information about the clothing and household goods drive, contact Laura Colbert, Clothing Drive Chair, at 520-625-4033 or [email protected]