St. Ambrose has once again illustrated strong support for the Quad Cities military veteran community.
On Friday, March 28, representatives from SAU Military and Veteran Organization (MAVO) on behalf of the university traveled to the VA Homeless Outreach Center in Rock Island to present a donation check to support local homeless veterans. The donation was made possible through t-shirt sales on campus in January and early February.
Junior Matt Conger, MAVO vice president, and Andrew Gates, SAU coordinator of Veterans Services and MAVO staff advisor, presented $1,200 to Mike Malmstrom, director of Bridging the Gap: Stand Down for Homeless Veterans. Malmstrom attended as a representative of the Marine Corps League, which collected the donation on behalf of veterans who use the Center. Also present to accept the donation was Sarah Oliver, local VA Homeless Coordinator, who said she was especially thankful to receive support from St. Ambrose.
"We have always appreciated the SAU student veterans group," said Oliver. "In past years we have received clothing, food donations and this time, financial assistance. We could not meet the needs of our homeless veterans without this kind of effort."
MAVO, a group comprised of student veterans, service members, and supporters, partnered with the SAU office of Veterans Recruitment and Services to sell T-shirts to SAU students and employees (shown at left), with the words "SAU Supports its Military and Veterans." Faculty and staff who purchased shirts were allowed to wear them with jeans as part of SAU Military Appreciation Day on January 31.
According to Gates, the student group met and far exceeded its fundraising goal for local vets in the community, and this was thanks to the overwhelming support of St. Ambrose University.
"The shirts were so popular, we had to offer a second opportunity for students, faculty and staff to buy them," said Gates. "I'm still receiving inquiries months later. The campus response was phenomenal."
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