Winter Is Coming and Vets for Peace Still Provide Sleeping Bags to People Who Are Homeless

by on October 14, 2019 · 0 comments

in Homelessness, San Diego, Veterans

By Judi Curry

When my husband Bob was alive, he was a member of the local Veterans for Peace Organization (as well as a docent for the Star of India).  He has been gone a little over ten years and as a memorial to him I made a donation to the VFP to purchase sleeping bags for those that are less fortunate than I am in that I have a warm bed, heat, and three meals a day.

Whatever the reason may be that there are so many homeless in San Diego, the fact is that the numbers are mind-boggling.  Rents are extremely high; medical expenses and medications are enough to bankrupt people that live on a very small income.  The reasons they are homeless is so varied, and every time I hear someone talk about the “trolls” I want to shake that person.  The old adage, “ . . . until you walk in their shoes . . .” is so relevant in today’s world.

Veteran members, associate members, and friends and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace continue to accept donations to buy sleeping bags which they give out to homeless veterans and others in downtown San Diego!   It is through the generous on-going financial contributions of friends and the general public that the Compassion Campaign is able to indefinitely continue this humane life-saving program.

In December 2010 the San Diego chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization began the “Compassion Campaign” — an outreach effort to help displaced homeless veterans.  Ignited by conversations with many homeless veterans on the street in downtown San Diego, the chapter membership determined that the lives of homeless veterans and non-veterans downtown could improve significantly if given basic equipment – like a sleeping bag, as many were sleeping rough on hard pavement each night with only a light blanket, their jacket, or nothing.

Putting ideas into action SDVFP contacted local vendors about the purchase of 100 sets at wholesale prices. The humble goal of raising $3,000 was announced to members and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, with the funds to cover the sleeping bag sets (sleeping bag and waterproof nylon stuff-sack).

News of the outreach program began to spread, first to friends and families, and soon after to the general public – the response was magnificent support enabling the program to buy and distribute sleeping bag sets well beyond its original goal.

The “Compassion Campaign” now continues year-round, with veteran and associate chapter members (some who are in their 80’s and 90’s) quietly delivering bag sets downtown late at night after the homeless have bedded down for the night. This makes finding those truly in need of items easier!

Bag sets are now purchased directly from the Coleman Company in Colorado and are ordered in quantities of 50 or 100 as donations come in. The Coleman Company generously provides bag sets at tax-free wholesale prices and pays the shipping charges to San Diego. The cost of a set is $33. All administrative costs for this program are pre-paid through the financial help of a generous donor.  Every dollar donated buys sleeping bags.

Winter is coming.  And even though our days are warm, the nights already have a chill to them. Like the children that have been separated from their parents and are sleeping on cold concrete, these people, both men and women and children are also sleeping on concrete. Maybe if they had a warm night’s sleep they might be able to be more productive during the day.

Donations are still needed as local veterans continue to provide sleeping bags to homeless vets and others downtown.

I hope that you will find that compassion that American’s have always talked about and make a donation – big or small – to the Veterans for Peace Chapter so that they can continue purchasing sleeping bags for those that need it.  Helping only one person is one person more than allowing them to freeze to death.  The feeling one gets of knowing that they helped mankind is second to none.  Try it.  You might do it again, and again, and again.

Donations may be made online with a credit card or PayPal at or checks made out to “SDVFP” can be mailed to:

4767 Agora Way
Oceanside, CA   92056

100% of each Compassion Campaign contribution is used to purchase sleeping bags and every contributor will be acknowledged by a letter or card from our treasurer, as SDVFP is a 501-C-3 veteran’s educational organization.  Donations are tax deductible if one itemizes donations.

For additional information, please contact Gil Field at or (858) 342-1964.


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