Bellevue University has always had a strong tie to the military community and now it is doing its part to help out veterans.
Now through Nov. 4, the public can donate items to fill backpacks for homeless military veterans who are staying temporarily at the Siena Francis House.
According to Heather Carroll, Manager of the Military Veteran Services Center, the backpack drive is sponsored by the University and the Military Veteran Services Center.
“Our goal is to fill 100 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 Nov. 11, at the Siena Francis House’s annual Veterans Day celebration.
Locally, several hundred military veterans seek shelter at the Siena Francis House each year; while nationally, about 20% of all homeless persons are veterans.
“This gives us a opportunity to continue our culture and heritage,” Carroll said. “We get to bring this to the veterans in need and honor them for their service and sacrifices.”
Items needed for men’s backpacks are winter hats, heavy winter gloves (multiple sizing), neck scarves, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, lip balm, large toe nail clippers, hand and feet warmers, hand and body lotion, nail clippers, reusable water bottle, hand sanitizer and masks.
Items needed for women’s backpacks are winter hats, winter gloves, winter socks, feminine products, leggings (multiple sizes.)
Items can be dropped off at Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center at 2108 Harvell Drive in Bellevue.
All cash donations will go toward purchasing snacks, hand and foot warmers and any other specialty items identified.