SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Veterans in need of any kind of support can find it Friday morning during the Veterans Stand Down event at the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance in Sioux Falls.
The help available to veterans this Friday and every day at the local non profit in tonight’s Your Money Matters.
“It’s the best kept secret in the state, annually we bring in right around 100,000 guests,” South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance Executive Director Brian Phelps said.
While most of the events are open to the public, The Alliance primarily hosts veteran’s events and organizations in the community.
“I’m a member of VFW, American Legion, DAV and other associations, this is like the landing zone, where we can all come together,” Sanford Health’s Department of Military and Veterans Services director Paul Weckman said.
“We run about 1,400 meetings and events out here per year,” Phelps said.
Since opening in 2020, The South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance has provided nearly $1.4 million in support and meeting space to veterans & veterans groups, along with many other causes in the community. One of those events is Friday morning’s Veteran’s Stand Down event.
“Our event floor will be packed with free support giving them things like clothing, food, essentials they need in their daily lives,” Phelps said.
Local veteran’s organizations, health care companies and housing services will be at The Alliance ready to help–the kind of agencies the nonprofit connects veterans with all year long.
“Not all of these veteran organizations are open all the time, this is open from early morning to late evening, unfortunately have some that have some serious situations at hand, could be life threatening, we may not provide the service but we can get them the service, can point them in the right direction,” Weckman said.
“This morning we had a lady come in that needed help and was crying at our front counter, we were able to get her the help that she needs,” Phelps said.
It’s why the organization is constantly looking for more donors to get involved with their mission.
“The South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit, so we need to gather 30 percent of our support from donations,” Phelps said.
Along with donations, this nonprofit is also supported by some daily revenue streams like lunch and dinner served at the restaurant everyday and a gun range open to the public.
“Even though we have our own revenue generating streams, we still need the support of the community and those that believe in our mission of supporting the veterans,” Phelps said.
The Veterans Stand Down event is from 8:30-11:30 Friday morning at The Alliance on West Russell Street.
Shuttle services will be available from The Bishop Dudley Hospital House, Union Gospel Mission, The VA and the VOA veterans services center beginning at 8am.