Giving Back To Causes Close To Your Heart
November 25, 2019
Alexis Eickleberry is a Navy Veteran with 10 years of service under her belt. She is currently pursuing her Social Work degree as a Senior at ISU.
She also works at the Veterans Student Service Center on campus for several hours each week and is completing her practicum with SEICAA Veteran’s Services. The latter service benefits from contributions made by ISU employees through their United Way/State Giving Campaign each year as one of the more than 30 programs that United Way of Southeastern Idaho funds in our seven county area.
Eickleberry's work with veterans in both locations is helping them receive counseling and access to disability services. She has seen first-hand the way the community has come together to help people who are struggling with issues of homelessness when she assisted with the Homeless Stand Down last month. Working the SEICAA Veterans’ Services booth she was able to distribute information and resources.
“It was very eye-opening seeing how many people don’t have housing or supplies," she said. "It was amazing seeing the community coming together to help people who had nothing.”
There is an 8-room shelter at SEICAA for veterans — they are allowed to stay for 60 – 90 days. If they show progress sometimes their stay can be extended. However, the hope is that these vets will work through the program and be able to find housing and a future.
“One of the main challenges that Veterans face is a lack of purpose in life. They have been told what they have to do every minute of the day. When you come out of the service, you lose structure – so it is challenging to get Vets to plan and create their own future," Eickleberry said. "I knew what I wanted to do when I got out – but seeing so many people that live the same life that I did and seeing them struggling is hard. Veterans are hard-headed and getting them to realize what they need to do is challenging! I believe it does help to know where they are coming from and to be able to explain and use the same language is helpful! Being able to let them know that connections are out there is a rewarding part of the work that I do.”
Read another impact story here: UWSEI-Impact-Story - SEICAA-Veterans
ISU’s United Way campaign runs through the beginning of December and is excited to support so many local programs through this fundraising effort. Donors are able to make a one-time donation or can choose a payroll deduction to enable those programs to be funded throughout the year in 2020. For more information please go to: https://www.isu.edu/hr/employee-tools/united-way/