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Phoenix Collects Clothing to Support Veterans

Tags: Phoenix
June 05, 2023 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

SCI Phoenix

Veterans at SCI Phoenix — an organization of incarcerated veterans — have conducted clothing drives to support homeless veterans and veterans in need in the Philadelphia area since 2006. On April 28, 2023, the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) in Philadelphia arranged to pick up clothing collected from SCI Phoenix’s clothing drive this past year—the most successful drive to date, totaling a value of $7,124. The VMC was incredibly grateful for this donation.

Donations were collected from inmates at SCI Phoenix in a very unique way. VVA Chapter 466/VOG, in conjunction with the veteran population at SCI Phoenix and the Veteran Services Unit, put together a fundraiser selling clear plastic bowls with lids. Any inmate at SCI Phoenix could donate to the clothing drive and anyone donating $8 or more would receive one bowl. Many inmates donated over $8—one donation was as high as $150.

Nearly 1,100 bowls were purchased, which allowed for a total of $7,124 to purchase clothing for the drive. The clothing was ordered from Correctional Industries, and consisted of various sizes of underwear, t-shirts, thermal underwear tops, thermal underwear bottoms, and socks.

SCI Phoenix’s support for veterans today was inspired by the work that began at other SCIs over four decades ago. In 1980, the incarcerated veterans at SCI Graterford started a veteran’s organization: The Veterans of Graterford (VOG). In 1989, this same group then formed a chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 466. Since then, these incarcerated veterans have been working to support veterans in prisons and in the community. They have actively supported charities that benefit veterans, children, mental health organizations, and community organizations. They have also been holding veteran events in the prison, first at SCI Graterford and now SCI Phoenix, for more than 40 years.

The VMC is an organization that the incarcerated veterans at SCI Phoenix are proud to support. VMC’s mission is to provide services, programs, opportunity and advancement to Veterans of the U.S. Military and their families. They fulfill this mission by offering many services to veterans, including veterans re-entering society from incarceration.

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