It all started about two years ago, when Adam Gaines toured the Youth Mart donation center at Omaha Home for Boys and noticed items that had been tagged for pickup months before but had been left behind. He learned that young people transitioning out of foster care needed those items but often lacked a way to get things – especially larger furniture – from point A to point B. And thus, the Truck Brigade was born.
“The idea was to create a volunteer group whose mission was to serve the youth of Project Everlast by delivering furniture and household itemas as well as collecting donations from around the Omaha Metro for the Youth Mart,” Gaines says. “[Co-creators] Keenan Page and Jim Hubbard had dreamed of having a delivery system, so the concept of the Truck Brigade took form and we were off and running – or driving, as it were!”
From there, Gaines says, Page and Hubbard worked on promoting the Truck Brigade to other local agencies while Gaines recruited volunteers, and in November 2014, the Truck Brigade went on its inaugural run. Since then, the group makes at least one run per month, often making multiple donation pickups and deliveries – meaning youth typically wait less than a few weeks for their items.
Be a part of the Brigade
If you’re interested in helping the Truck Brigade’s mission, they welcome volunteers on an as-needed or as-available schedule. They typically make a run on the second Friday of each month, but will occasionally operate on other days. Volunteers don’t need a truck; the group coordinates volunteers and often an SUV, crossover, van, or minivan works fine.
“The youth served by Truck Brigade are always so gracious and appreciative of the volunteers and thrilled to get their items to their home,” Gaines says. “The volunteers are also filled with the joy of giving these youngsters a hand and showing them they are cared for!”
If you have items to donate or would like to volunteer, contact Adam Gaines at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Youth Mart at 402-457-7002.