ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester will honor the American Flag with its annual Flag Day Campaign June 11 through June 14.
Executive Director Laura Stradley discussed the campaign and its focus Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“Flag Day, obviously, is a great celebration of our nation’s symbol and an opportunity for Veterans Outreach Center to honor Flag Day itself,” said Stradley. “We’ll have volunteers all around town who are handing out free hand-held flags, collecting donations from anybody who is inclined to do that, and just sharing some information about the work we do at Veterans Outreach Center.”
To learn more about locations and how to support the campaign visit veteransoutreachcenter.org/flag-day-2021.
Stradley explained, “Veterans swear allegiance to the flag and to our nation when they’re actively serving in uniform and the very sad fact is for those who are killed in action or don’t make it home, they’re covered under the flag. So the flag has a very, very special meaning to anybody who has served their nation and, of course, to all Americans. We really appreciate the opportunity to honor the flag on Flag Day and to remind people how impactful it is for the men and women who have served.”
Flag Day dates all the way back to 1916. Donations collected as part of the Flag Day Campaign help support a variety of programs at the VOC. “At Veterans Outreach Center we have a whole host of services that support the men and women who have served our country,” noted Stradley. “This year alone we’ll have more than 800 veterans who come in in need of food in a food basket. We’ll have over 500 veterans who need support getting back into civilian employment. We’ll provide shelter for 100 veterans at our homeless shelter here in the South Wedge. And, again, another sad fact of the situation for people who have served their country is that our suicide rates are nearly double that of the national average. Twenty-two veterans a day are still committing suicide and we provide very critically needed peer support services, mental health programs, and other wraparound services that help people in need.”
In addition to the Flag Day Campaign’s physical locations, there will also be a digital fundraiser this year. “It’s going to be one-day only on Flag Day itself, June 14,” Stradley said. “So if people aren’t getting out and about town yet too much and they still want to contribute to this wonderful campaign, they can get right online – go to our website and there will be information there on how they can support our efforts this year on Flag Day.”