UC students reach out to veterans in need

Student veterans donate to Joseph House, a charity that helps area veterans

Student veterans at the University of Cincinnati created a fund drive for a charity that helps other veterans in need.

Dozens of UC students donated pillows, soap, shampoo and other personal hygiene products for Joseph House, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans in the city.

“As a student veteran, I feel that it is always important to support and give back to other veterans in need,” UC student and U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Bailey Trusty said. 

She is president of UC’s Student Veterans Association. Trusty said they wanted to do something to help other veterans so they reached out to Joseph House. About 3% of UC’s graduates last year were veterans or dependents of veterans.

“I think it’s great that the students wanted to do this to reach out to veterans. The response has been really good,” said Greg Roberson, program coordinator for UC’s Department of Veterans Programs and Services.

"I think it’s fantastic — veterans helping veterans."

Brandon Cooper, Joseph House

Joseph House Program Director Brandon Cooper said the charity was founded 26 years ago to provide mental health services and in-house drug and alcohol rehabilitation for veterans, some of whom stay as long as a year. Joseph House helps any veteran in need, regardless of the circumstances of their discharge.

“The need is huge,” Cooper said. “A lot of these guys have absolutely nothing — not even shoes on their feet. We clothe them and help them rebuild their lives.”

Cooper said his group has seen more need among women veterans. UC’s donations are welcome, he said.

“I think it’s fantastic — veterans helping veterans,” Cooper said. “They understand each other. They have that shared experience so they’re able to connect almost instantly.”

UC’s Trusty is studying mechanical engineering in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Seeing the local homeless veterans in our area really gave us a good opportunity to step up and help as much as we could,” Trusty said. “During my time in the Air Force, I have made some of my closest friends and found a real passion for helping other veterans find a sense of community.”

Featured image at top: UC Veterans Programs and Services program manager Terrence Harrison and coordinator Greg Roberson prepare to take donations to Joseph House. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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