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Second Annual "Operation Help-A-Hero" Kicks Off Memorial Weekend

CHICAGO (CBS) -- This Memorial Day weekend, the City of Chicago, 19th Ward Alderman Matthew O'Shea and the Chicago Park District are kicking off the second annual "Operation Help-A-Hero" drive to support formerly homeless veterans.

"As we approach Memorial Day, it is important that we remember our fallen heroes and do everything we can to support our brave veterans who call this city home," said Mayor Emanuel, in a statment. "Chicago continues working to end homelessness among veterans and our success is a testament to the hard work of our residents and partners who have come together to help those who are struggling to get back on their feet."

The city has been working hard to end homelessness among veterans in Chicago, with marked success. But, Southwest side Alderman Matthew O'Shea, said that doesn't end the problems vets can face. WBBM's Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

"Even after many of our veterans find housing, they struggle to afford the most basic necessities you and I take for granted - shampoo, toilet paper, laundry detergent or a toothbrush - we need to fix that," O'Shea said.

So, once again, the city will run "Operation Help-A-Hero" through June with collection containers at every Alderman's office and 14 park district locations. Navy Veteran Don Jackson was homeless for 10 years and had an alcohol addiction. He said it can be hard to ask for help.

"Because people like me usually don't make it, but from your generosity, from your heart I'd just like to say thank you," Jackson said.

Now Jackson helps other veterans get assistance.

Last year's inaugural collection drive raised $500,000 worth of goods to help formerly homeless veteran.

Operation Help-A-Hero officially begins on Memorial Day, May 29 and will run through the 4th of July. All donations will be collected by Military Outreach USA, and will be distributed by the Jesse Brown Veterans' Affairs Medical Center. You can find out more about Help-A-Hero at

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