CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, Jewel-Osco and community leaders to launch Operation Help-A-Hero, a household donation drive benefiting homeless veterans. The 4th annual drive begins today through July 15 at all Chicago Jewel-Osco stores, providing a dedicated drop off for hygiene products and other goods so that residents can assist formerly homeless Veterans moving to permanent housing.
“Service members and their families contribute to our country in ways those of us who have never worn the uniform can hardly imagine,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I commend Alderman O’Shea and the team at Jewel-Osco for supporting Chicago’s Veterans and military families through Operation Help-A-Hero. We share a responsibility to Chicago Veterans not just on Memorial Day, but every day.
Residents are encouraged to donate one or more basic household items, including paper towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes at one of over 100 designated drop-off locations throughout the city. All 50 Aldermanic offices, Jewel-Osco store locations and select Chicago Park District offices across the city of Chicago will have donations boxes to accept store-bought household items for Veterans transitioning out of homelessness.
The program was launched to ensure that all Veterans who need to could access the critical support, including basic personal our household necessities needed to live independently. Since launching, Operation Help-A-Hero has garnered hundreds of thousands of donations for homeless Veterans. The 19th Ward community has taken part in Operation Help-A-Hero each year, with Alderman Matt O’Shea working to expand the program throughout the city.
“I’m proud that the 19th Ward community has embraced Operation Help-A-Hero and has been a leader in the city in trying to help our homeless Veterans,” said 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea. “This program is a simple way for the community to help those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
On any given night there are over 500 homeless Veterans living on the streets of Chicago. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services has helped more than 5,000 homeless Veterans find permanent housing, however many still lack the basic household items in order to live independently.
“Jewel-Osco has long supported our Veterans through fundraising and store support campaigns,” said Paul Gossett, President of Jewel-Osco. ”We are proud to support Operation Help A Hero again this year, a program that delivers support to the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.”
Residents are encouraged to donate from the following list of high-demand items, including: PERSONAL HYGIENE: bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, combs, hair brushes, nail clippers, toothpaste, toothbrushes; KITCHEN & CLEANING ITEMS: kitchen trash cans (plastic), Windex, Pine Sol, dishwashing liquid, dishcloths, sponges, mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans, paper towels; BATHROOM & MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: shower curtains, toilet paper (4 or 6 pack), plungers, toilet brushes, toilet bowl cleaner, bath towels (2), wash cloths, smoke detectors with batteries, flashlights with batteries, garbage bags, laundry baskets, hampers, and laundry detergent.
Operation Help-A-Hero is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to the well-being and care of our American military. Their programs support military units and families as they prepare for separation, while they endure the challenges of deployment, and as they transition back to the United States. Every dollar donated to Operation Help-A-Hero is used to serve the military community, and every project is based on real needs.
All donations will be collected by Military Outreach USA and will be distributed by the Jesse Brown Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Maywood.A complete list of drop-off locations in the city can be found atwww.cityofchicago.org/helpahero
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Jewel-Osco was founded in 1899 and is owned by New Albertsons, Inc. The grocery and drug retailer has 188 locations encompassing Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Iowa, and employs 31,000 associates. For more information log ontowww.JewelOsco.com and follow on social media at Facebook.com/JewelOsco, Twitter.com/JewelOsco, Instragam.com/JewelOsco, Pinterest.com/JewelOscopr and YouTube.com/JewelOsco