By Ashley Cox

SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)-–Representatives from the Sara DeSoto Chapter, National Scoiety Daighters of the American Revolution dropped off 50 backpacks and plentiful supplies for homeless veterans at the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services office on December 13.

The donation comes as part of the “Sue’s Backpacks” program of the DAR, spearheaded by member Rebecca Morgan in honor of her late mother, Sue Harris, who led a similar effort through her DAR chapter in another state. Morgan organized the first “Sue’s Backpacks” effort here locally in 2017.

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Items that were donated along with the backpacks include handmade blankets, clothing items (such as socks, underwear and T-shirts), baby wipes, razors, deodorant and body spray, can openers, gift cards for food, rain ponchos, and snacks like crackers or Slim Jims. The Veterans Services team will tailor each backpack for the veterans’ individual needs and preferences.

The mission of the DAR – whose members must be able to trace their genealogy back to an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary Way – is “God, Home and Country.” Rebecca notes the chapters focus on historic preservation, education and patriotism and says that helping veterans is an area of strong focus.

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“We want everybody to have a good Christmas,” Morgan says. “Veterans put their lives on the line for our country; I feel like this is the least we could do.”

Community members who wish to support the “Sue’s Backpacks” effort are invited to reach out to Morgan at fldarpatriot@aol.com.

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Goodwill’s Veterans and Their Families Program was created in 2013 to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. The program – which is staffed by veterans – provides comprehensive case management and vocational services, networking opportunities, and assistance in navigating the wide array of available social service programs. For more information, visit experiencegoodwill.org/impact/veterans-program.