EAST ELMHURST, N.Y. – A new partnership was born this week when officials from the Transportation Security Administration at LaGuardia Airport handed over 10 bags and two boxes filled with more than 400 articles of clothing to the Brooklyn Vet Center to distribute to homeless veterans in need of the dozens of coats, hats, scarves, gloves and other clothing that passengers have left behind at the busy airport’s checkpoints.
Items left at TSA checkpoints are collected and stored for 30 days in hopes that the owners will contact TSA’s Lost and Found Office to claim their lost items. Unfortunately, much of what is lost goes unclaimed, and in accordance with the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act, TSA reached out to the center in Brooklyn to find out if they could make use of the items.
Officials at the Brooklyn Vet Center were eager to repurpose the lost clothing and distribute it to veterans in need within their center as well as with other nearby centers that they partner with in the community.
“It is our sincere hope that this program will provide some measure of assistance to veterans who are less fortunate, but who have served our country so honorably,” said LaGuardia’s TSA Federal Security Director Robert Duffy.
TSA officers were eager to participate in the clothing delivery to the center. Mostly travelers have left behind belts, hats, scarves, gloves, light-weight jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters and those items were represented in the transfer that took place on Wednesday.
“The officers who helped with the delivery were honored to participate and assist our country’s veterans,” said Veronica Falzon, TSA’s Screening Support Center Manager at LaGuardia Airport, who oversees the TSA Lost and Found Office. “We know we’ll make many people happy, and we are just so glad to be able to do our part,” she said.
TSA has a strong tie with members of the U.S. military. More than 20 percent of TSA’s workforce nationwide are former military.