More than 2,000 volunteers are needed to help serve our military veterans at this week’s Arizona StandDown. Among those answering the call are employees from area businesses including Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Bank of America and USAA.
Arizona StandDown is an alliance of community-based organizations that come together to connect homeless and at-risk veterans to services that allow them to regain their highest level of independence. Volunteers serve as guest guides to personally escort veterans who come to find vital resources including housing, employment, health care, legal aide, clothing, meals and many others.
Latasha Causey, Director of Operations at USAA, and Christina Hawbaker, Community Development Officer at Desert Schools, and Stuart Burns, Risk Analyst at Bank of America, recently shared why volunteering at StandDown is so important to them and their colleagues.
Latasha: For some, it’s a personal connection; some are veterans themselves and they want to help other veterans in need. For others, it’s about family; some have family members who are serving or have served and they want to give back. But regardless of the reason, the driving force is that our employees just want to help those who have sacrificed so much for us. It’s our mission. Our veterans, no matter their situation, are important and vital to the community.
Christina: Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is committed to being a force for positive change in our community and takes great pride in
volunteering to address important needs. Arizona StandDown is an opportunity for our staff to give their time to veterans in need throughout the Valley—to illustrate our priorities as an organization to our staff, membership and community.
Stuart: Bank of America promotes diversity and inclusion and have several internal volunteer networks that associates can be involved based on their specific passions. I am fortunate to lead one of the networks called MSAG (Military Support and Assistance Group) which consists of associates with a passion for veterans and veterans causes. So the Arizona Stand Down is a perfect event we like to engage in each year
Latasha: By the experience of meeting our veterans and getting to know who they are – hearing their stories and seeing how the community is working to help. Our employees walk away with a different level of appreciation for those that have served and their life after the military. Even employees who don’t have a military connection walk away with a sense of pride in helping our veterans.
Christina: Our volunteers have shown great joy in being able to participate in StandDown. They feel they are truly making a contribution to the community with this event.
Stuart: We know we are making a difference for these Veterans as they are able to get the resources they need and the internal satisfaction of giving back to those who gave so much for this nation.