OMAHA, NE -- The unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is impacting the lives of many Nebraskans, many who were already struggling to make ends meet. No one can predict the long-term impacts of this pandemic, but one thing we know for certain – it is the homeless who suffer the most among us. As the weather turned bitter cold at the start of December, the JROTC cadets at Omaha Burke High School went in to action as they seen a need for coats this winter will be greater than ever before.
During the week of December 7th, the JROTC program partnered with Victory Apartments to host a Winter Drive. They choose Victory Apartments because of its special mission and goal.
“The goal of Victory Apartments is to provide safe shelter for our veterans, to end homelessness among Veterans, because no one who has served this Nation as a Veteran should ever be living on the street,” said Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
During the Winter Drive, cadets asked the students, parents, and teachers for help to reach their goal of collecting 60 coats in only a week. Coats were the main priority, but they were also looking for donations of new or lightly used hats and gloves for the homeless veterans in Omaha. The cadets prepared for the drive by creating posters and flyers to be hung up around the school. They even got the word out through social media and the school newsletter.
With the help of the Burke High community, the cadets were able to collect a total of 135 donated items: 74 coats, 39 hats, 16 gloves, and 6 scarves. Burke JROTC cadets and instructors then delivered all the items to the Victory Apartments on Friday afternoon, December 11.
“We were able to have a lot of items donated to help those in need who served our nation,” said Cadet Sergeant Major Casey Kelley.
The cadets were grateful to have been part of a greater cause and are hopeful that this simple contribution made a positive impact in the lives of our nation’s heroes. The Burke JROTC program will continue to help support their local heroes in any way they can to show their appreciation towards those who protect and serve our country.