SDIA Assists Those in Need During COVID-19 Crisis


As the world watched and began reacting to the coronavirus (COVID-19), SDIA started searching for responsible ways in which to help our members, volunteers, and fellow Sheep Dogs (veterans and first responders) Get Off The Couch™ and stay engaged. We also looked for safe ways to assist those in need during the pandemic…this new challenging type of disaster. SDIA has been hard at work and will continue with this effort as long as this health crisis affects our nation.
All of SDIA’s Chapters and Teams are led by Sheep Dogs, many of whom are currently on the frontlines in our communities serving in law enforcement, fire & rescue, or emergency medical services. Finding ways for our members and volunteers that are willing and able to serve during this pandemic was a challenge, but Jeff Watts (Central AR Chapter Commander) led the way. He worked with Little Rock area government and medical professionals to develop a protocol to deliver critical assistance to those in need. Following strict CDC and State of AR guidelines, he developed and tested procedures to deliver to those isolating due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or self-quarantining due to high risk of contracting it. Once Central AR got the ball rolling, our Teams & Chapters began doing what they could to get their local members and volunteers engaged to assist those in need – from serving on the frontlines, to making cloth masks for first responders, residents and medical personnel, to delivering food to those in need, or transporting large quantities of food to food banks for distribution, all of our 23 Teams & Chapters are doing what they can to help.


Here is some of what SDIA has accomplished with our COVID-19 Initiatives through April 16, 2020.

  • The Central AR Chapter led the way and began vetting volunteer drivers in late March, and launched the program to deliver food, water and prescriptions/medical supplies to area residents and those at risk living in public housing. As this program gained traction, the Chapter partnered with the AR Department of Health and the AR Food Bank to deliver monthly food/supplies to an apartment complex. Watch Chapter Commander Jeff Watts’ video of this effort.
    • 1,183 people assisted
    • 14,479 lbs food delivered
    • 26,400 lbs food unloaded, organized at food bank
    • 206 masks delivered
    • 11 medications/other assistance
    • 91 deliveries made


  • Our new Georgia Team, led by Jeff Rahn, worked with the Glad Company to send disinfecting supplies to areas in desperate need of them, including hard-hit New York City.
    • 636 people assisted
    • 697 lbs disinfecting supplies delivered
  • The National Office and our Teams/Chapters sent collected supplies to our New York City Team One who were in dire need of masks and disinfecting supplies. NYC Team Leader, Christian Spears, reported that these supplies were distributed to 355 State Police in Staten Island, Rockaways, Wards Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as New York Police Dept’s Strategic Response Group with over 550 members under Sgt Ralph Tomeo. “It makes me proud to know we as an organization are saving lives and making a difference,” said Spears. “We saved several of our essential frontline workers in the NYC area from contracting this deadly virus. That is a beautiful thing and that is why I am proud to work hard each and every day as a Sheep Dog team leader.”


  • As with many places around the country, Northwest AR first responders and public safety personnel quickly ran out of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe while on the frontlines fighting this disease. The Northwest AR Chapter partnered with the Northwest AR COVID-19 Task Force to collect critical PPE, and distributed it to the Benton and Washington County Departments of Emergency Management. Click here to watch the KHBS news story.
    • 1,424 people assisted
    • 223 lbs food delivered
    • 1,840 masks delivered
    • 17 deliveries made
    • 12 pkg games, food/cookies, hygiene to quarantined NC Marines
  • Our Greater Cincinnati Chapter has transported more than 17,000lbs of donated food from local grocery stores to food banks. They also worked a drive-thru Food Drive, collecting and bagging 11,340 meals that they then delivered to residents in need. They were featured in a recent news story on local station, WKRC; click here to watch the video.
    • 1,198 people assisted
    • 34,548 lbs food/meals/water delivered
    • 17,055 lbs donated food transported to food bank
    • 99 masks delivered
    • 42 lbs disinfecting supplies delivered
    • 6 medications/other assistance
    • 16 deliveries made


  • The St. Louis Chapter has sewn and distributed 125 face masks, providing police officers at 5 separate stations with vital protection
    • 125 people assisted
    • 125 masks delivered
    • 5 deliveries made


  • Our Hawai’I Team worked alongside the Honolulu VOAD (Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters) to
    • 4,500 people assisted (estimated)
    • 31,643 lbs food delivered
    • 1 effort
    • Team is currently producing masks to distribute


Stay tuned as SDIA continues this COVID-19 disaster mission, and assists those affected by storms and natural disasters across our country. #OurMissionContinues!

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