13:34 PM

Military Veteran Organizations and Sienna Francis House Ask for Public’s Help in Filling 75 Backpacks for Homeless Military Veterans

Now through Tuesday, Nov. 6, the public can make donations of much-needed items to fill backpacks for homeless military veterans who are staying temporarily at the Siena/Francis House. Items can be dropped off at Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center at 2108 Harvell Drive in Bellevue or at the Siena/Francis House at 1701 Nicholas Street in Omaha.

According to Wade Jensen, Manager of the Military Veteran Services Center, the backpack drive is sponsored by Bellevue University, Guitars for Vets and the Wounded Warrior Project. “Our goal is to fill 75 backpacks with essentials that will improve the day-to-day lives of the homeless veterans who are served by the Siena/Francis House,” he said. “The things that we take for granted – shampoo, warm winter gloves, trail mix and water bottles, mean the world to these veterans.” Items needed for the backpacks include: Hygiene Items - Soap - Shampoo (travel size) - Tissue (travel size) - Nail clippers - Combs - Chapstick - Deodorant - Hand sanitizer - Tooth brushes - Tooth paste - Hand lotion - Shaving supplies Cold Weather Items -Gloves -Stocking caps -Scarves -Socks Snacks (single serving) -Trail mix - Hard candy - Reusable water bottles - Granola bars

Jensen said the backpacks will be presented to the Siena/Francis House staff and residents in time for Veterans Day on November 11. Locally, several hundred military veterans seek shelter at the Siena/ Francis House each year; while nationally, about 20 percent of all homeless persons are veterans.