After discharging from the Marine Corps and finding himself homeless on the streets of Los Angeles in the mid 1980s, Joe McDonough made a promise:
“I told myself that if I ever get back on my feet, I want to do something to help those who are homeless. Veteran causes are a passion close to my heart,” McDonough says today.
The former lance corporal is a now a driver for the San Francisco Unified School District. This Saturday he will fulfill his decades-old pact by hosting his first-ever fundraiser: A Chinese buffet in the San Francisco Mission District, with all proceeds going to Swords to Plowshares.
“From what I understand, Swords has a good long history going back 40 years. I know the money will go to veterans and not get caught up in the bureaucratic machinery that can happen with larger organizations.”
Joe also is the founder of Treks For Vets, an outfit he recently launched with the long-term goal of taking veterans on hikes in exotic locales around the globe.
“A trek is a metaphor for what veterans have gone through, while in a combat situation or on a 20-mile hike,” Joe says. “A lot of veterans want to keep up with physical activity, and I think going on treks will build morale and give them a sense of accomplishment and purpose.”
For now, though, Joe has his sights set on supporting Swords to Plowshares. By hosting a casual buffet dinner, Joe hopes attendees will have the chance to enjoy a decent meal and mingle with a few vets—all in the name of a good cause.
“When it comes to helping veterans, Swords was the first place I thought of,” Joe says.
- WHAT: An all-you-can-eat buffet & fundraiser. The public is invited.
- WHEN: Saturday, February 21 2015 from 6pm to 8pm. Attendees are welcome to come and go at their leisure.
- WHERE: Punjab Restaurant, 2838 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
- WHO: Brian Jarvis, Airman from the 129th Rescue Wing and Communications Associate of Swords to Plowshares, will speak at 7pm.
- COST: $25 per ticket at the door
- DRESS: Casual