08:21 AM

Bellevue University, Siena Francis House Ask for Help in Filling 200 Backpacks for Homeless Vets

Organizations Hope to Fill 200 Backpacks with Essential Items to Meet Increasing Need

With the help of the community, the Bellevue University Military Veteran Services Center wants to fill 200 backpacks - double the number filled last year – to help homeless military veterans at the Siena Francis House.

Now through Friday, Nov. 4, the public can donate much-needed items to fill the backpacks. Items can be dropped off at Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center at 2108 Harvell Drive in Bellevue, Nebraska 68005. The center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Monetary donations will be accepted, as well, and will be used to purchase needed items. Donations can be made online at (designate Military and Veteran Services). 

According to Heather Carroll, Manager of the Military Veteran Services Center, the backpack drive is sponsored by Bellevue University and the Military Veteran Services Center, with support from several other veteran-focused non-profits.

“Our goal is to fill 200 backpacks with essentials that will improve the day-to-day lives of the homeless veterans who are served by the Siena/Francis House,” she said. “The things that many of us take for granted mean the world to these veterans.” 

Carroll said the backpacks will be presented to the Siena Francis House staff and residents on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at the Siena/Francis House’s annual Veterans Day celebration. 

According to Siena Francis House data, nearly 200 military veterans seek shelter at the Siena/ Francis House each year. Nationally, about 20 percent of all homeless persons are veterans.

See donation list with items needed below.

Items For Men's & Women’s Backpacks 

  • Blanket
  • Poncho – order this item online at Amazon and have it delivered directly to the MVSC.
  • Winter hats
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Heavy winter gloves medium/large/X-Large sizes
  • Neck scarves
  • Winter socks
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving Cream
  • Liquid soap (no bar soap)
  • Razors
  • Lip Balm
  • Large Toenail Clippers
  • Hand and Feet Warmers
  • Hand and body lotion
  • Nail Clippers
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Masks
  • Combs
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Kleenex
  • Underwear

** Travel size items strongly preferred ** Please only donate new items. Used items will not be accepted. 

Additional Items for Women's Backpacks 

  • Winter hats 
  • Winter gloves 
  • Winter socks 
  • Feminine products and feminine product bags
  • Leggings multiple sizing 
  • Brushes

The following link can be used to purchase items wholesale:

All cash donations will go toward purchasing snacks and hand and foot warmers and any other specialty items identified, or will be donated to support Siena Francis House operations.