When Jennifer Anthony relocated to Baltimore for work, she just couldn’t bring herself to walk past the homeless army veterans she’d see on a daily basis.
Herself a 20-year veteran of the Air Force, and now the managing director of IT at Lorien Health Services, she knew she needed to do something to assist.
“As someone who recently retired from the military, I had a hard time understanding why someone would be in that situation if they served their country,” she said.
So, she made a phone call to the local Department of Veterans Affairs to gather resources. Then Anthony and her 11-year-old daughter started filling bunches of what they call “blessing bags” — which include everything from socks to bottles of water, business cards from the VA resource center, and a toothbrush and toothpaste — and started handing them out to every homeless veteran they came across.
In the past few months since she relocated from San Antonio, they’ve handed out a dozen or so blessing bags. Anthony said she’s always been big on veteran advocacy and has also helped to create a local task force that visits schools to educate students about service. She’s helping to host a Veteran’s Day service today (Nov. 8) at some of Lorien’s nursing facilities to commemorate the holiday next week.
“We just wanted to take a minute to recognize their service and tell them how much we are grateful and appreciate what they sacrificed for the country,” she said.