Employees wear jeans to save veteran lives

Alexandria Albano, Staff writer

Each Friday, Mercyhurst employees have the opportunity to wear jeans for a $2 donation. The money will go to Mission 22, an organization that raises awareness for veteran suicide.

“The main goal of Mission 22 is raising awareness. Our second goal is to get veterans the help they need right away without having to wait. I would say our third goal is developing the Ambassador program so that we have representatives in every state who can educate the public through events, information and support,” said Cindy Stinson, outreach coordinator for Mission 22.

According to Stinson, Mission 22’s Ambassador Program and the War at Home Memorial are great ways to spread awareness. The second goal is achieved through partnering with nonprofit organizations, private doctors and therapists.

“Some of our partner organizations are Save A Warrior, Chambers of Hope, The Valor Clinic, Dr. Elk Foundation, We Defy Foundation and more to provide free or reduced fee treatments for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Eighty-eight point nine percent of all donations go directly toward these missions,” Stinson said.

The third mission is achieved with the development of the Ambassador program, which leads to representatives in every state to educate the population.

Sarah Allen, one of the members of the executive team of Mercyhurst’s Staff Senate, speaks of the reality of Mission 22.

“Every day, 22 American combat veterans commit suicide as a result of untreated or improperly treated PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. We just wish to raise awareness and give hope to our veterans that are on campus,” Allen said.

This is the first time Mercyhurst has donated to this nonprofit cause. Allen said that it was brought up that Veterans Day is in the fall and Mission 22 is a great organization so they should donate.

Matt Sanfilippo, another member of the executive team of the Staff Senate, proposed that they donate to this cause.

“The Staff Senate donates to jeans days for a cause. I proposed that we need to stand behind our vets because they protect our lives and continue to do so. Mission 22 also partners with doctors and numerous organizations across the U.S for funding.”

Awareness is very important to this cause.

“Every time someone shares a Mission 22 post, it spreads awareness for Mission 22’s mission and also raises awareness for PTSD,” Sanfilippo said.

Mission 22 is a dedicated organization. With the awareness that is being taught to the public, a decrease in veteran suicide can be achieved.

“We will continue our mission until the number of veteran suicides per day is zero. Even one is too many. We have the tools, doctors and treatment centers to change lives,” Stinson said.

For further information and to spread awareness, visit Mission22.com