BELLEVUE, Neb. — Filling the hearts of veterans in time for Veterans Day. Bellevue University's Military Veteran Services Center is collecting items to fill backpacks for veterans.
It started with a collection of just a few items and nine years later, the Military Veteran Services Center continues growing to help more and more veterans.
"We grew continually, trying to get those that are recently homeless a whole lot of items. We want to let them know we care about them and help them out this time of year going into the colder weather," said J.R. Richardson, Director of the Military Veterans Center.
They are looking to fill 100 backpacks with hats, gloves, scarves and personal items. For men, they need things like razors and shaving cream. For women, they need things like feminine hygiene products and leggings.
Bellevue University was founded by a veteran, so they say it is fitting that they help out veterans whenever they can.
You can even go online and purchase items wholesale at backpacksusa.com.
Cash donations are also accepted to purchase hand warmers and snacks.
Richardson, who is also a veteran, says it is an honor to help veterans.
"To me, this is an ultimate lifetime 'thank you,' to be able to continue to look out for veterans, especially when it is those hard combat times that have caused so many to be homeless," he said.
Nationally about 20% of homeless persons are veterans. Locally, several hundred military veterans seek shelter at the Sienna Francis House each year.
Veterans Day is Thursday November 11th. The backpacks will be given out at that time at the Sienna Francis House.
You can drop items off at the Bellevue Military Veteran Service Center at 2108 Harvell Drive in Bellevue, (866) 676-3614, or the Sienna Francis House, 1131 N. 18th St., Omaha, (402) 341-182.