Project seeks to raise awareness of homeless vets

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School DECA officers Alanna Readel and Amanda Rinaldi are working to increase awareness of the issue of U.S. veteran homelessness.

The two students are working on a public relations project, a state DECA competitive event, which they will present at the DECA Career Development Conference on March 1.

The students are selling “House a Vet” bracelets in affiliation with the Naugatuck Exchange Club.  All proceeds are going to a program dedicated to housing homeless veterans.

In addition, the students plan to hold an informational session at the Whittemore Library to offer residents the chance to learn more about the issue, and be instructed on ways that they can help support homeless veterans. The session is scheduled for Jan. 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The students also planned to meet with the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs Community Outreach Office to further explore the opportunities for Naugatuck’s affected veterans, and how the two students might assist in educating the public on the need for assistance.

The issue is one that is close to the hearts of Readel and Rinaldi. Readel’s maternal grandfather served in World War II and her paternal grandfather was a field director for the Red Cross during the war, according to a prepared statement. Rinaldi’s grandfather served in the Air Force.

To help veterans with a donation, or to get more information about this effort, contact DECA advisor Tim Reilly at reillyt@naugy.net or (203) 232-0725. Donations may be made payable to “NHS DECA – House a Vet” and mailed to NHS DECA, 543 Rubber Ave., Naugatuck, CT 06770.  All of the proceeds will be directed to the Naugatuck Exchange Club for the “House a Vet” program.