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Volunteers distribute donations for Bags for the Brave to military families

Over 6,000 donations were made to hundreds of military families who participated in the Bags for the Brave donation drive.

SAN DIEGO — Donations for the Bags for the Brave were handed out on Saturday. 

For the entire month of May, CBS 8 partnered with Navy Federal Credit Union and the Supported the Enlisted Project to help military families and collect personal care items. 

Drop-off locations were at 27 San Diego County Navy Federal branches.

Today, our crews as well as step volunteers joined together to make sure families got to go home with the items collected. 

“This is a basic need that we should all have access to, especially our veterans and active duty folks,” said Luke Machaco, who is part of the San Diego Community College District. 

Donation drives like these are meant to help military families offset the cost of everyday items, as some food prices and personal care items have skyrocketed. 

It's why being able to donate some hygiene items, diapers, and even food makes a difference for our troops and their families struggling financially.

“The cost of everything is really high right now. Inflation is really impacting our families,” said Tracy Owens, the program manager for STEP. 

Marc Anthony Clarinigarian is an active duty U.S. Navy, he says a common misconception surrounding military families is that they are financially stable— but that's not true. 

“We still struggle, some of us have single-family income homes,” he said. 

Other families who took part in the donation drive say these events raise awareness for other troops who are in the same boat but don’t always know where to find resources. 

“It helps in ways that we don't really get when we are on base. Kind of supporting the families with things they might need, but are scared to ask for. Or stuff that they didn’t know they needed until they came to these events,” Joseph Fuhrmeister, active duty in the Marine Corps said. 

Bags for the Brave is a great way to salute our military and give back to those who serve. 

Over 6,000 donations were collected and nearly 400 families received these items. 

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