VHS Grad Launches Kickstarter For Homeless Veterans

By on November 6, 2018

Since 2014, Brett D’Alessandro has been working to make the lives of homeless veterans easier. Through his non-profit, Backpacks For Life, he filled donated backpacks with a variety of donated supplies, including clothing, toiletries and information on services for veterans. Now, the 2010 Verona High School graduate and Marine Corps veteran is taking his effort to the next level and launching a Kickstarter to fund the manufacturing of his own street-tough backpack.

Dubbed the Bowery Pack, it will be made in the U.S. at a company that employs veterans. It was designed with lots of storage space, durable materials and added security features to make living on the streets easier for homeless veterans.

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“Our production will be operated by transitioning military, who are looking to get into the manufacturing industry,” D’Alessandro says on his Kickstarter page. “Through a training program, operated by OVAAT (One Veteran At A Time), our production will not only be providing a training opportunity but eventual full-time positions for veterans to have a hand in what will be the first ever backpack designed with a veteran in mind.”

The Kickstarter has an ambitious $120,000 goal and, with 30 days to go, current donations are right around $10,000.

In addition to trying to develop the manufacturing of a custom-made backpack, D’Alessandro leads a variety of fundraisers for Backpacks For Life. It provides a support system for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families by finding and maintaining housing for low-income and homeless veterans, coaching and mentoring these veterans, and distributing its resource-filled backpacks.

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You can learn more about supporting the Kickstarter here.

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