OMAHA, Neb. — As the temperatures start to dip below freezing, a program is now underway to help keep people warm.
Last week CHI Health and Salvation Army teamed up for their Layers of Love effort, collecting numerous boxes of winter clothing items for people in need.
"70 boxes full of scarves and mittens and hats, coats, things like that. I can't tell you how far this will go to helping people during these cold months," Salvation Army divisional commander Greg Thompson said.
Now Salvation Army's Night Watch program is distributing all the collected winter gear along with hot meals until the end of February. They distribute to low-income areas across the metro and to local shelters.
This year Salvation Army teamed up with CHI Health and collected goods from 10 different locations. This boost ended up paying off as the number of donations skyrocketed.
"It is a much better response, and I will tell you that the response is actually much better because we partnered with CHI this year," Thompson said.
People like Jared Adams flocked to the trucks in the freezing cold late Tuesday afternoon looking for a little boost to get through this harsh winter.
"I've personally been someone who's lived on the streets in the wintertime, like you can die out here. So you know having some warm food in your belly, that saves you enough money maybe to get you somewhere, get you something warm. Just survival," Adams said.
The entire effort is completely run by volunteers. Jeremy Bermel of Bellevue volunteered for the first time. After losing everything, he wanted to give back this year.
"We lost everything in the flood this year. Those moments when you are down and you basically have nothing left and you really have no answers for your family, I kind of understand that that's what a lot of them are going through," Bermel said.
If you would like to donate warm clothing items for the project you can drop them off at Salvation Army's Old Mill campus at 10629 Burt St. anytime from 8:30am to 4:30pm.