A Sioux City North High School senior is spearheading a statewide project to support Iowa military veterans.
Araceli Lopez is the president of the Iowa Association of Student Councils. She says the program hopes to get schools in the state involved in “supporting those who serve us.”
“We want to make where it’s not just Veterans Day that we can do things, we can do things throughout the whole year to raise awareness and fundraise for them,” Lopez says.
Lopez spoke Monday in Sioux City at a news conference with Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds. Reynolds outlined some of the goals of the program.
“Twenty-thousand service hours, 15,000 donated to help veterans currently serving military men and women and their families throughout the state, and 40 schools in Iowa participating in this year’s state project,” Reynolds says. Lopez says the schools may choose whatever type of project they wish to use to help their local veterans.
“They know their community, they know their school, they know what will help, they know what they can do,” Lopez explains. “If they know of a military family that needs help of assistance, they can outreach that. They can just do any simply fundraiser to fundraise for an honor flight, they can do therapy dogs, any other project they want to do to honor them, if they just want to do a parade, an assembly.”
Lopez says North High is already planning several projects to help Sioux City area veterans.
(Reporting and photo by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)