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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: September 4, 2012


NEW CASTLE (Sept. 4, 2012) - Employees of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services are partnering with Delaware Veterans 2012 Stand Down and Bank of America in a public campaign to aid veterans in need. As part of Helping Hands for Veterans, DHSS employees and the public are urged to donate travel-size toiletries and thank-you notes to benefit all Delaware veterans in need. Any travel-size toiletries will be accepted. For security reasons, please leave thank-you note envelopes unsealed.

Donations will be accepted through the morning of Sept. 11 at:

As part of the Sept. 11 Day of Service, DHSS' State Office of Volunteerism staff, AmeriCorps members and Bank of America volunteers will collect items on the afternoon of Sept. 11, and bring them to DHSS' Holloway Campus for sorting. DHSS and Bank of America volunteers plan to fill 250 bags for the Delaware Veterans 2012 Stand Down event from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the American Legion Post # 2 in Dover.

Delaware Veterans Stand Down helps veterans in need with housing, medical and behavioral services, and offers help in determining eligibility and benefits. On Oct. 5, the nonprofit organization also will provide veterans with haircuts, legal services and food. For more information on the event, contact the Stand Down Central Line at (302) 349-4898.

The organizers of the Delaware Veterans 2012 Stand Down event said it is about raising awareness and helping Delaware's veterans to achieve self-sufficiency.

"The intent of the day's event is to improve the lifestyles of many veterans by providing them with information that they may not be aware of," said Bill Jiron, a veteran with a disability who offers help to other veterans. "There is so much help available for veterans throughout our state that we hope to stamp out 'I don't know' as a response for them."

"Veterans have helped us throughout history and we wish to give back," said Liz Byers-Jiron, director of Delaware Veterans Stand Down. "Our committee's mission is to help all veterans to achieve independence and self-sufficiency through access to information and services."

"This is such a wonderful way for DHSS employees and the public to give back to the men and women who have sacrificed so much in serving and protecting us," said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. "I thank Bank of America for joining us in Helping Hands for Veterans. As we approach the Sept. 11 anniversary, I urge Delawareans to write a heartfelt note of thanks to Delaware's veterans in need and to donate a few travel-size toiletries. Your donations could change a life."

Any surplus items collected during the drive will benefit other veteran-related organizations and causes in Delaware.

For more information about the drive, go to or call Catherine Fox, Marketing and Media Coordinator, at the State Office of Volunteerism, at (302) 255-9745.

For more information on the Delaware Veterans 2012 Stand Down event, contact the Stand Down Central Line at (302) 349-4898.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.