Although the GWC Veterans Resource Center operates without campus funding, it is well equipped with furniture, computer equipment and food (for the “mess hall”) – all thanks to generous donations from community organizations, foundations, and individuals. Student veterans have also received numerous scholarships and personal financial assistance.
The GWC Student Veterans Organization (SVO) decided to pay it forward and send care packages to Marine and Army units in Afghanistan. They held a fundraising event on Veteran’s Day, and along with private donations, managed to raise $600 to purchase the care-package items.
“What better person to give a care package than a veteran? We know what they need,” said SVO President Matt Muggia. “You want something that reminds you of home — to make you forget where you are for a moment.”
They made sure only the best made its way into the care package. The boxes were stuffed with books, socks, movies, favorite snack food, toiletries, and a hand-written note from a GWC student. The Costco manager even gave them a discount when he found out what they were doing.
As the students filled the boxes, they shared stories about the packages they received and how much they were appreciated. “We do it to let them know there are people — not just their families — thinking about them,” said SVO Vice President Tabatha Maddox.
“It touches your heart,” said Golden West President Wes Bryan as he watched his student veterans put together the care packages. “They themselves have been through so much and they’re connecting back with people who they know are experiencing the same things they did. It’s pretty cool, they received and now they’re giving back.”