In October 2012, Serving the Enlisted Project (STEP) was formed as a 501(c)(3) organization to assist San Diego's young military and Veteran families in financial crisis.  STEP builds financial self-sufficiency among junior active-duty enlisted members and recently discharged enlisted Veterans and their families facing financial crisis through counseling, education, and grants. The Community Service committee of the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club made a $4,000 grant to STEP to purchase 80 backpacks and school supplies to fill them.  Eleven members of our club gathered at the STEP headquarters on a Saturday morning and were first given a tour by Jennifer Handy who is STEP's Institutional Giving Manager.  She educated us on STEP's mission and the array of programs they offer.  We then broke into teams to unpack the backpacks, fill them with supplies, and provide a hand-written note to go in each backpack. These backpacks will be distributed to children of enlisted personnel at the Cammies to College event which will occur August 3rd, 2024, at Liberty Station.  Thanks to all who volunteered for this fun hands-on activity with special acknowledgement of Dave Nokes who brought this worthwhile organization to our attention.  
Jennifer Handy and husband Curt leading the group on a tour of the STEP facility
The note writing team
The backpack packing team
The finished backpacks
Project complete and planning for the backpack distribution in August!