by Taylor Odisho Communications Assistant Elks headquarters staff smile while distributing thermal clothing. Hundreds of volunteers and sponsors bustled around the Illinois National Guard Northwest Armory in Chicago, preparing for the rush of homeless veterans. The line for the winter Standdown went well past the front doors, and since it was the middle of November, everyone rushed to get people through the doors and out of the cold. A group of Elks Headquarter staff and Elks scholars lined up to help veterans collect winter boots, thermal clothing, toiletries, shelf-stable food and more. Before veterans headed down the line, they were given a small, white envelope—thank-you notes written by local students. When some veterans opened their cards, they quickly disguised their misty eyes with a smile, and gently placed the letter in a place for safekeeping. A veteran named Mike who helped organize the event shared his gratitude for the volunteers. “You’re going to
The Elks National Foundation, established in 1928, helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. Visit www.elks.org/enf to learn more.