Over $800 worth of hygiene and grooming products given to veterans for inaugural Give
Back to Veterans Day
March 26 marks a time of year that anyone can make up a holiday of his or her own. 4-year-old Tyler Stallings inspired the creation of Give Back to Veterans Day, since he wanted to do something special to thank veterans for their service and publicly raise awareness about their needs beyond Veterans Day. After receiving a $100 youth grant from a nonprofit
organization called Start A Snowball, Tyler collected approximately
$800 worth of in-kind and monetary donations for veterans through social media,
video presentations, a letter campaign and phone calls made by his mother,
Andrea Blackstone. Purchases to make hygiene baskets and bags were made with
funds raised to thank homeless and elderly veterans in a tangible manner.
|Tyler Stallings is the son of a veteran. Other close family members have also served.|
Tyler’s supporters donated approximately $155 through https://www.gofundme.com/uxs2hbcs.
Local chain stores in Prince George’s County, Md. also donated items to the Give Back to Veterans Day
campaign, enabling Tyler to provide items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes,
deodorant, new washcloths, soap, razors and lotion to elderly and homeless
veterans. An Annapolis-based small business—Rosemary’s Beauty & Barber
Supplies— made a large donation of grooming products and items for men and
Other small business owners, such
as Terrell Freeman, owner of Reel Tech in Annapolis, his mother, Claudia
Blackstone, Shelia Bell—an author and publisher located in Tenn., Valerie
Mullins—owner of In Sync Visions and Communications, a mother with Annapolis
roots and a military retiree who served 20 years in the Air Force were key
Tyler visited a transitional home for veterans called
Patriot House, located in Brooklyn Park, Md. While visiting, he met the program
manager, Charles Robinson, and learned diverse manners that support is provided to male veterans
who are getting back on their feet. Tyler’s uncle, Michael Blackstone, served
in the U.S. Army. As an ongoing supporter, he helped to transport items and also visited Patriot House. Before
leaving the location, hygiene supplies, customized baskets and thank you cards were left for six
veterans on March 24.
Tyler resumed delivering items to veterans on March 25. He visited The Armed Force Retirement
Home, located in the District of Columbia, and spoke with veterans who live at
the retirement and assisted living facility. Tyler thanked these residents for their
service and provided donations for their forthcoming white elephant event, when
they could select items themselves.
Additionally, Tyler was also acknowledged by Governor Larry Hogan. in two ways. The
kidpreneur received a letter from him providing responses to questions posed about what
is being done to help veterans in Md. A citation was also given to Tyler in recognition of his support offered to veterans in Md., and promotion of literacy in the state,
at a young age. Fundraising activities for future Give Back To Veterans
events are in development.