Their conversation revolved around helping veterans through a program called Stand Down, a nonprofit organization founded by veterans to provide support and services for homeless veterans. When he asked how he could help, Tomko provided him with a list of items that the DAR was collecting for the veterans. Petropoulos got started right away, working through his school Fox River Country Day, to promote and collect items for Stand Down.
Within two weeks he had collected enough items to fill a SUV. He took on odd jobs in his neighborhood such as mowing lawns, splitting wood, dog sitting and other yard work, to raise money to buy personal size toiletry items to donate. His grandmother, a resident of Sun City, Huntley, organized a group to make lap robes for veterans. In total, Petropoulos collected items from his family, neighbors and school. Fifty-two items, including magazines, athletic shoes, lap robes, books, socks, underwear and full-size toiletries were delivered to Hines VA Hospital.
From the money Petropoulos earned doing odd jobs in his neighborhood, he purchased personal size toiletry items which were taken to the Homeless Veterans Stand Down in Chicago, in June. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Participating chapters send one winning essay from each of the four grades for judging on the state level.
The state will send one winning essay from each of the four grades to be judged on a divisional level. The winning essay from each of the four grades will then be judged on the national level and the winners are announced. Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter and the chapter winners receive bronze medals and certificates.
State winners receive certificates and silver medals. National winners receive special certificates, medals, and a monetary award. Click here for an informational PDF handout.