Hoosier Veteran Assistance Foundation (HVAF) is an organization that helps veterans return to normalcy and assists at risk veterans to keep them from becoming homeless by providing food, clothing, hygiene, supportive housing, and other essential services.
At IUPUI, the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) will be dedicating their time to raise money for HVAF from April 3-5 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Taylor Courtyard.
“SAE Stands with the Troops is a three day long philanthropy event that focuses on raising money for HVAF. All of the money collected at the event goes straight back to HVAF,” Jonathon Hawkins, SAE president said.
Last year was the event’s first year back after a two-year break.
“The idea for the event came about a couple years ago after looking at our philanthropy schedule and we wanted to diversify ourselves,” Hawkins said. “When the opportunity came, Stands came to be. Now, I’d consider it our largest philanthropy event of the year.”
During the day the men will be out in Taylor Courtyard selling T-shirts for the event, canning and collecting money. They want to make sure they let people know what their cause is and why they are collecting the money. There will also be games, like cornhole and an obstacle course.
One of the evenings, SAPB will be putting on “Saving Private Ryan” in Taylor Courtyard around the event.
On Monday at noon, they will be having a flag raising ceremony. They will be raising the American flag, the Indiana state flag, and the SAE flag.
“We put on the flag ceremony as a symbol to show that this is something we really want to do and support our own brothers in. We want to showcase the military the best that we can,” Hawkins said.
The flag ceremony will be held by members of the chapter that are veterans themselves.
“We have three men who were or are active duty in one branch of the military, so they will be putting on the ceremony,” Javi Canales, SAE’s social chairman said.
Chalkboards will be out so that anyone can come and write the names of their family members or their own names of people who have served or are currently serving.
“Just being able to give back to the men and women who have given so much to us means so much. A lot of faculty and people on campus approached us last year and talked about how much this event meant to them because they served or they had family that served. It makes it worthwhile for us,” Canales said.
“A majority of our time is spent during the year raising money for Jagathon and the Children’s Miracle Network, but we have realized the effectiveness of raising money for other causes as well,” Hawkins said.
Right now, this is the only event that SAE puts on to raise money for HVAF, but in the future, they are looking to put on a grilled cheese event to benefit HVAF as well. They hold “Grilled Cheese with the SAE’s” to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and saw the outcome of that event, so the goal is to incorporate more than one grilled cheese event into their calendars.
There will be an online link to donate, so they will be taking more than just cash donations. Anyone who wants to donate will be able to.
“If you see a veteran on campus, shake their hand and tell them good job because a lot of times they do not get recognized for the things that they do,” Hawkins said. “This event is to really highlight the things they do that get overlooked and sometimes the inequalities they face when they come back home and we really want to make sure those concerns are heard and taken care of.”