For 12 years running, Pin-Ups for Vets has raised thousands of dollars for VA hospitals nationwide by putting a new twist on a wartime tradition.
The group of sharply dressed vets has visited over 11,000 veterans at 62 hospitals and donated more than $56,000 of medical equipment to VA hospitals so far, all by selling calendars of women veterans dressed as WWII-style pin-up models.
Allison Paganetti, who served as Signal Corps officer in the U.S. Army, credits her grandfathers for instilling a sense of pride for veterans.
“It was ingrained in me that the truly brave and selfless individuals who provided my freedom should always be respected and never forgotten,” Paganetti said.
Currently, the organization is on a 50-state tour visiting VA hospitals, bringing donated calendars– and joy– as gifts. This year, the group of volunteers will be delivering their 12,000th calendar.
“Being able to be part of something so close to my heart was an honor,” said Daphne Bye, who served in logistics in the Marine Corps.
“I love to support my fellow brothers and sisters past and present.”
Gina Elise, the group’s founder, learned about the struggles of veterans returning from battle and wanted to raise funds to support hospitalized veterans.
Elise’s grandfather served in WWII, and the vintage romance of the bygone era served as inspiration for her nonprofit organization.
“I have followed Gina’s amazing work for over 10 years and I have always dreamed of being a part of this amazing group and project,” said Megan Martine, who served as a motor vehicle operator in the Marine Corps.
The group provides care packages to troops deployed around the world in addition to its support for the VA.
This year’s calendar, the 12th edition, features 21 female veterans as models. The 2018 calendars are available and can be purchased here.