Trenton, NJ (PRWEB) May 23, 2012
The state of New Jersey is in the midst of an active movement to help their returning veterans in honor of Memorial Day. Over 300 companies, schools, and government agencies will take part in the GI Go Fund’s “Jeans for Troops” Drive on Thursday, May 24 to help raise funds for veterans and their families.
Employers, schools, and government agencies across the state and parts of the country will allow employees to wear jeans to work for a $5 donation to help the GI Go Fund further its mission of providing veterans with help finding employment and educational opportunities, homelessness assistance, and connections to critical benefits.
The GI Go Fund efforts in assisting veterans in need is well-known throughout the state of New Jersey, and their work is scheduled to be featured on the upcoming Season Premiere of ABC’s Secret Millionaire, airing June 3rd at 8pm ET.
This statewide movement to support our veterans is being heavily promoted by the NJ State Assembly, as they will pass a proclamation at 1:30pm on the assembly floor which formally declared May 24, 2012 as “Jeans for Troops Day”. In addition, Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, are encouraging their fellow members to wear Jeans on the Assembly floor that day.
"While there is a traditional dress code expected from legislators, I think we can all agree that this is one cause worth putting it aside for," said Speaker Oliver. "I hope to see all my colleagues, Democrat and Republican, wearing jeans on May 24 in support of our military men and women who have served our country and must now adjust to civilian life at home."
"Who wouldn't want to trade in their suit for a pair of jeans during a long session day, especially for such a good cause?" said Tucker. "I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in sporting our best blue jeans in the State House to raise awareness about this event and help raise money for our soldiers who are transitioning back to civilian life."
The drive is being also being sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), who is encouraging all of its member schools and teachers to participate in the “Jeans for Troops” drive. To date, over 250 schools and school districts already have agreed to participate. In addition, the NJEA will make a $5,000 contribution to the drive to help assist our veterans.
“NJEA is proud to sponsor the GI Go Fund’s Jeans for Troops program,” said NJEA President Barbara Keshishian. “Our members, many of whom are veterans themselves, are committed to supporting our troops as a way of thanking them for their service.”
Veterans are returning home in 2012 to a depleted economy, with former service members facing an unemployment rate consistently higher than their civilian counterparts. Veteran advocates and supporters are working to help unemployed veterans and their families find the financial support they need during these difficult times to prevent homelessness, but they are looking to members of the community to lend their support to the men and women who left to protect them.
“It is a very difficult time for our men and women coming back,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “Our veterans spent these past ten years doing everything we asked of them, and now they are coming home to a high unemployment rate among veterans, increasing suicide rates, and mounting debt that often leads to homelessness. Our organization works to help curb these problems, but these issues will never be fully resolved until we as a community do our part. I am thrilled to see so many participants from all across the state and region stepping up to help the neighbors who left to protect them. Veterans need a movement behind them in order to solve these issues, and with the help of the NJEA, the NJ Assembly, and the hundreds of employers who will participate, we have the chance to make a significant impact on the lives of our veterans.”
“I am so proud of our state’s educators, who have stepped up in a big way by coming together to support our veterans,” said GI Go Deputy Director Alex Manis. “Teachers from all across New Jersey have shown their commitment to helping the veterans returning home, and they will all set a great example to their students on the importance of supporting the men and women of our military.”
The drive already has over 300 employers, schools, and government agencies participating, including Johnson & Johnson, Marsh & McLennan, Community Education Centers, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, AXA Equitable, Cablevision, PSEG, Advance Realty Group, WithumSmith + Brown, Community Solutions, Gibbons, and the Offices of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez.
For a full list of participants, visit http://www.gigofund.org/jeans4troops.html.
For more information on the GI Go Fund, visit http://www.gigofund.org.