Five tons collected during homeless vets toiletry drive

Posted on: October 07, 2016


An estimated five tons of personal care items were collected for Georgia’s homeless veterans during the fifth annual Stand Up for Stand Down toiletry drive.

“Stand Down” is a military term that refers to the time when troops are brought back from the battlefield for rest and recuperation. Each year, Stand Down events across the country provide health care and other services to help thousands of homeless veterans get back on their feet. 

Items were collected from July 4 through Sept. 5 throughout north and central Georgia Cancer Specialists locations and included, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, hand sanitizers, antiseptic creams, lotions, brushes, combs and feminine hygiene products. 

“We had such an amazing collection this year,” said Ms. Robin Williams, a Marine Corps veteran who founded the Stand Up for Stand Down event in 2011. “Communities have really responded to the need in the way of donations and volunteering.”

At “sort and pack parties,” held at several locations, about 2,000 “comfort bags” were assembled for the Stand Down events. Among the 125 volunteers were members from the Peachtree and Atlanta Pilot Clubs; students from South Forsyth High School, Roswell High School, Baldwin High School and Stockbridge Middle School; the Dunwoody Woman’s Club; First Baptist Church of Woodstock; Georgia Cancer Specialists and Northside Hospital staff, as well as area residents.

Donations were distributed to veterans at the Atlanta VA Medical Center’s 2016 Stand Down event on Oct. 1. New this year, the Stand Up for Stand Down drive is providing comfort bags to other organizations providing services to homeless veterans, including the Shadow Warrior Foundation, the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans fund, and Veterans Administration hospitals and medical centers located in Carrollton, Macon and Dublin, Ga.

“We’re extremely grateful for all of the donations we received this year from Stand Up for Stand Down,” said Ryan Hepworth, an Army veteran who started Shadow Warrior Foundation to address homeless veteran needs. “This will go to lift the spirits of hundreds of local homeless veterans.” 

Georgia ranks fifth overall among states for total number of homeless veterans, according to a Georgia Department of Community Affairs report, and ranks fourth among states with the largest increase of homeless veterans.   

The annual toiletry drive is sponsored by the Georgia district Pilot International Clubs and Georgia Cancer Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

For more information about the Stand Up for Stand Down drive, call 770-864-5347 or visit

About Pilot International (

Pilot International, a 501c3 organization, serves as a global charitable and educational organization of executive, business and professional leaders, working together to improve the quality of life in local communities and throughout the world.  Founded in Macon, GA in 1921, the historic inspiration for the group’s name was the riverboat pilot who would steer a “true course” through calm or troubled waters.  For almost 100 years, Pilots have served under the motto "True Course Ever."  Today's Pilots charge to “DO MORE, CARE MORE and BE MORE everyday.”

About Georgia Cancer Specialists (

A national leader in advanced cancer treatment and research, Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS), affiliated with the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, offers medical oncology and hematology services and was the first private oncology practice in Georgia to also provide a full range of support services for patients.  GCS’s 49 physicians provide care in 26 Northside Hospital Cancer Institute locations in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia through approximately 160,000 annual patient visits.

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