America’s Best Helps 400 At-Risk Veterans

Gail and Dudley at the Stand Down EventOn June 23, 2017, Area Manager Gail Pallas and District Manager Dudley Purbeck from our American’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses brand participated in a “Stand Down” event for homeless and at-risk veterans.

The annual event was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, New York, and linked veterans with multiple services and programs in one convenient location.

In just a couple of hours, Gail and Dudley were able to help over 400 at-risk and under-served veterans from the Western New York area – including the Buffalo and Rochester areas. They distributed 300 readers and 100 sunglasses that were provided by our partner, Restoring Vision.


Gail Pallas from America’s Best in Depew, New York says:

“The Buffalo Stand Down was an emotional roller coaster.  So many ups when you would see the smiles and looks of joy on so many veterans faces when they would read what they could not read before.  Or the grateful handshakes when you allowed them to choose a pair of sunglasses.”

Gail and Dudley at the Stand Down Event

She adds:

“There was one veteran who looked at the glasses on the table and then turned away. When I approached him to ask if he might need a pair of eyeglasses to help him read, he told me he only had $2 in his pocket.  I brought him to our table and explained to him that these glasses were free of charge to those who needed them.

We only had a few pairs of mostly women’s glasses left but this man did not care about the color or style of the glasses. We tried on a few pairs until he could read his Stand Down booklet. He was so grateful that he could read more clearly, grasped my hands and thanked me ‘from the bottom of his heart.’ My heart of course was filled…”

More About the Buffalo Stand Down

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a “Stand Down” event connects homeless and at risk of being homeless veterans with information and services including immediate housing unit availability, legal advice and services, VA health care and other Veterans benefits information, education and employment opportunities, free haircuts, social and family services, and more.

Jessica Altamirano

Jessica Altamirano

Communications Specialist at National Vision, Inc.
Jessica Altamirano is a proud Veteran spouse who has worked for NVI since 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. Jessica is passionate about corporate-nonprofit partnerships, philanthropic efforts in developing countries, Veteran recruitment, and creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.
Jessica Altamirano