Homeless veterans all over New England were gifted with sports team hoodies for Christmas, thanks to the efforts of Marlborough-based Sweat For Vets and about 40 local participating organizations, including the members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough, who wrapped nearly 300 of the approximately 2000 sweatshirts.
Enveloped in Christmas paper, the sweatshirts were presented to Sweats For Vets organizer Mark Vital , noted Sarah Maston, youth group leader at St. Stephen Lutheran Church. While the initiative is typically an outreach of the teens, who gather at church for an afternoon of wrapping, 2020 pandemic issues made it practical to include other church families. Everyone picked up the shirts at church, distanced and masked, and wrapped them at home.
Recent research indicates that with the global pandemic, homelessness for veterans could increase 45%, according to the Sweats for Vets website, www.sweats4vets.com. The sweatshirts bring warmth, pride, and hope to homeless veterans across New England by rallying many dedicated volunteers and generous donors.