Key Club sponsors blessing bags for homeless


Melissa Irish

One of the boxes dispersed by Key Club throughout the school awaits donations. These donations will go the homeless population in the local area.

Melissa Irish, Features Editor

While many enjoy Valentine’s Day in the comfort of their homes, hundreds of homeless shake from cold and hunger on local streets, in need of basic supplies.

The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress estimated that there was about 3,026 homeless Nebraskans, with 1,630 of them in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.  Bellevue West’s Key Club, which is focused on community service, decided to respond to the needs of these people.

“I just kind of advise and help with how to implement things, so it was the officers who were in charge of coming up with the different ideas,” Key Club sponsor Jennifer Sedlacek said.

Key Club historian senior Deanna Dymond came up with the ideas to make blessing bags for the homeless.

“It was actually an idea I saw on Pinterest,” Dymond said.  “I brought it up to Terese and then went from there.”

The club has dispersed donation boxes throughout the school to accept items such as socks, granola bars, and toothbrushes.  Once the donations close, the club will organize the donations into bags.  However, Key Club will not be distributing them to the homeless themselves.

“We actually have connections with a church that is located in North Omaha and Carter Lake, Iowa and they do a lot of projects with helping the homeless,” Key Club president senior Terese Nevarra said.  “We’re going to make the blessing bags and probably decorate them and put them all together and they’ll actually go and hand them out.”

To try to increase the amount of items that will be going to the homeless, Key Club is trying out another method besides just the boxes.

“We’re going to set up a table at lunch to collect change donations and then we can use that to get the items that we need,” Dymond said.

Sedlacek has concerns that the group will not reach their goal of 50 bags, but maintains hope that they will receive enough donations.

“I think there’s probably a lot of other things going on in our building that it’s hard to always be bringing something for certain organizations,” Sedlacek said.

Key Club will continue to have their donation boxes set up until this Thursday, Feb. 16.

“Right now we’re still working on collecting the items,” Dymond said.  “We don’t have a number of packages yet, but we’re still looking to get more donations.”