Schools in Geneva Unit District 304 have partnered with the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton for the Adopt-A-Veteran Project.
Sponsored by the Leos Club, a student version of the Lion's Club International at Geneva Community High School and the Vasilas family, this project gives students a chance to appreciate the service of local veterans while helping provide supportive services to homeless veterans.
"This project has given educators a good opportunity to have students reflect on the impact that the sacrifices of veterans have had on students' lives," said Leos Club sponsor Cathy Pool. "It has provided a lot of 'teachable moments'."
According to Pool, the overwhelming response from students and staff expanded the Adopt-A-Veteran Project from a simple collection to a huge collaborative effort among the high school and middle schools. Many groups are contributing in their own special ways.
The high school math department is making fleece blankets that correspond to each veteran's branch of the military. The high school athletic teams are hoping to prepare and serve meals and spend some time socializing with Veterans in the transitional housing in Wheaton. The Geneva middle schools are collecting items at their annual Veterans Day ceremonies. All high school students and staff will be encouraged to sign their names to an appreciation banner (created by the high school art club) for veterans during lunch periods on Thursday, Nov. 10.
On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, from noon to 6 p.m., Geneva High School will become a community drop-off location for donations for the shelter. Anyone wishing to donate simply needs to pull up to the front of the school, 416 McKinley Ave.
Student athletes and Leos Club members will collect donations directly from vehicles. All donations of new clothing, household items, linens, personal products, and cleaning supplies will help homeless veterans in need.
For information, call the Leos Club sponsor Cathy Pool at (630) 463-3800. To view the shelter's wish list and learn of additional needs of veterans, visit bit.ly/VetsNeeds.