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UNO Backpack Drive Gives Back this Nov.


Published: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014 13:01

MaverickPR, University of Nebraska at Omaha’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), is hosting its fourth annual backpack drive to help homeless teens in need. Students, faculty and staff donations will allow MaverickPR to give over 100 backpacks filled with clothing, food and hygiene supplies to Youth Emergency Services (YES), a nonprofit organization that serves homeless and at-risk youth in Omaha and Council Bluffs.

The project, entitled “Say YES: Give Back with a Pack”, will be running the entire month of November. According to Angela Eastep, service director of UNO PRSSA, students and staff can get involved in many ways, including donations and spreading the word about the project.

“The more people we can make aware of the Backpack Drive and how simple it is to participate, the best chance we have to get the most donations for YES Omaha and fill up the backpacks,” Eastep said.

Donations range from hygiene products like body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant to other items like Ziploc bags, hangers, gloves, first-aid items, underwear packs and socks. For students and staff who would rather make monetary donations, cash should be put in an envelope labeled ‘UNO PRSSA-YES Backpack drive’. Donations can be placed in the on-campus donation bin located in room 140 of Arts and Sciences Hall.

Many local businesses are also partnering with the backpack drive by choosing between sponsoring a backpack for $35 or setting up their own bin for donations. One organization that has joined the project is Hair Today, a local salon. The Papillion-based business is offering $5 off of services for clients who bring in donations.

In previous years, MaverickPR’s goal has always been to fill 100 backpacks for YES Omaha. Although the drive has successfully met this goal each time, MaverickPR is hoping to do even better this year by sparking more campus participation.

“This year we are trying to spread the word to the community to get their involvement in the drive in hopes that we can far exceed the number of overall donations we receive,” Eastep said.

Eastep leaves readers with an encouraging note about getting involved with the project. “Individuals who donate an item can feel good knowing that their donation will go directly to the youth that need it most.”

To find out more information about YES Omaha or other ways to contribute, visit

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