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Daily interviews with people involved in local charities, arts organizations, government, medical groups, educational institutions, and more. Airs weekdays at 7:44 a.m. and 3:44 p.m. hosted by Mike Hogan.

Backpacks For Homeless Vets in Omaha, Heather Carroll Tells How You Can Help Those Who Have Served

Bellevue U Military Veteran Services Center Backpack Drive-3.JPG

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

Bellevue University’s Military Veteran Services Center is holding its annual drive to fill backpacks and duffle bags for homeless vets with essential items and this year they’re doubling down because the need is so great. With your help, they’re hoping to fill 200 backpacks this year – double the number from last year.

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. There is a full list of needed items below. Travel size items are perfect!

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, as shown in the illustration below).

You can also volunteer to pack the bags for our vets. That event happens on November 7th and will take place at Bellevue University Military Veteran Services Center, 2108 Harvell Drive, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005. If you help load the packs, Heather says, they will feed you!

And finally, 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.

So there are several ways to help folks who can use a nice deed sent their way. The complete list of items needed is as follows:

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 feminie product bags
  • Leggings multiple sizing 
  • Brushes
By joining the staff at KIOS as the local "Morning Edition" Host in November of 2017, Mike Hogan’s radio career has come full circle. His first radio job was with St. Louis, Missouri NPR affiliate 88.1 FM KDHX.