Over the long weekend of June 28 -30, Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary (DMSB Rotary) operated the “Water Tent” at Stand Down San Diego for the 12th year in a row. Led by DMSB Rotary past president Bill Sutton, many Rotarians and friends handed out over 5,700 bottles of chilled water to hot and thirsty homeless vets, their dependents, and volunteers over the three days of the event. Twenty-six Rotarians, spouses and friends took three-hour shifts to man the “Rotary Water Tent” during the event.
Many vets and volunteers that frequented the Water Tent said that the chilled bottles of water were what kept them going throughout the long, hot, dry days. Funding for the water was donated by the Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary Club.
Stand Down is an annual support and intervention event specifically for homeless veterans. It is held in a temporary tent city created just for Stand Down on the athletic field of San Diego High School. Started in San Diego in 1988 by the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), Stand Down continues to grow through VVSD’s efforts, with hands-on and financial .assistance from the Veterans Administration, many other organizations, and individual volunteers. Following VVSD’s model, over 200 other cities around the U.S. hold annual Stand Downs for their homeless and needy vets.
While veterans and their dependents generally stay at Stand Down over the three days, civilian volunteers and active duty military personnel come in shifts to set up and break down the facilities and to assist the veterans. They provide meals and coffee throughout the day, picture IDs, and sleeping tents for rest and relaxation. They stock and man the clothing tent, showers, barber shop, and stations for medical, dental, and vision assistance. And, they offer help through the homeless court, counseling, chaplain services, 12-step meetings, and information about veterans benefits, employment and job counseling services, recovery providers, and shelters.
For information about “Stand Down San Diego,” contact Darcy Pavich, Stand Down coordinator, Veterans Village of San Diego, 619-497-0142, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary members work to “make communities, San Diego, and the world a better place for all while also developing new friendships and business relationships.” To learn more, contact Charles Foster at 858-414-8638 or Charles@FosterDM.com, or by attending a Friday breakfast meeting at the Del Mar Hilton. (www.DMSBRotary.com.)