46 Back Packs for severely wounded military packed and ready to ship
December 6, 2009 (San Diego) -- Today, World Emergency Relief (WER) does not have to travel thousands of miles to provide for needs. Through its program, Project NOT Forgotten, WER provides backpacks to returning severely wounded military personnel. Medical care is so good today that a severely wounded serviceman (or woman!) can be in a bed here in a U.S. Military hospital in three days. However, they are often med-evaced so quickly that all of there personal belongings are left behind.
“WER is proud to help as needed, without duplicating the efforts of other organizations serving our wounded warriors” states Gary Becks, chief executive officer of WER and Rescue Task Force, which was founded in El Cajon and recently merged with WER. Beck shared his stories of how long it took wounded military persons to return to the states after injuries when he was a Corpsman serving in Vietnam, compared to today’s quick return.
World Emergency Relief (WER) has combined efforts with local corporations, service groups, churches and many individuals to put together a very welcoming array of goods in a back pack that truly lets the service men and women know the are not forgotten. Thus the name “Project NOT Forgotten”. Some of the backpacks pictured in the photo were generously donated through the San Diego Downtown Rotary club with proceeds from their “Holes for Heroes” golf tournament. “To continue to provide the required back packs, it takes group efforts” states Andrea Stone, Founder of the program and WER’s V.P. of International Programs.
Last week, SoCo Group, Inc, headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, brought a large team of employees, and some of their employee’s children who are on vacation from school to help WER pack the back packs and ready them for shipment. SoCo Group, Inc. provided the transportation for 7 back packs to Balboa, and 39 others are ready for shipment to Brooke Army Hospital in Texas, Bethesda Naval Medical, also known as National Medical Center in Maryland, and Walter Reed Army Hospital also in the Washington, DC area. SoCo Group has been providing petroleum needs to Southern California and Arizona for over 80 years. They are proud to be part of an organization that helps them give back to the needs throughout the world.
For over five years SoCo Group, Inc has been a supporter of WER’s program Rescue Task Force (RTF) that runs literacy centers in Afghanistan for women who formerly were forbidden to learn to read and write. The back pack project is a newer program that SoCo Group embraced immediately when they heard of the needs.
World Emergency Relief has provided comfort and hope to children and families around the world for 24 years. Founded as an outreach to a disastrous famine in Africa, WER knows that every day is a disaster when you have little or nothing. RTF could not ignore the needs of our wounded military who have given so much to ensure our freedom, this backpack is the least we can do the welcome then home and remind them that they are not forgotten!
WER cannot provide this life-changing aid without the help of others. Donations are urgently needed to help continue this backpack distribution. Each back pack cost $625. The pack includes the basic such as toiletry items, as well as some sweats and sandals, but it also has what we like to call “Heart Medicine” such as a phone and minutes to call loved ones, Nintendo DS and games, a CD player and CDs, as well as a gift card for purchases at the hospital restaurants or gift shop. Cash donations and Gift-in-kind of specific items are needed to help WER provide these wonderful things to the service person and the loving family members who sits by their bedsides.
For more information and specifics, visit www.projectnotforgotten.org.
Contact Peggy Reiber at .760-930-8001 for info on how you can help, or visit http://www.wer-us.org.
Checks can be made out to:
Project Not Forgotten
c/o World Emergency Relief
2270 Camino Vida Robles Suite K
Carlsbad, CA 92011