55th Cyber Squadron spreads love to Omaha’s unsheltered homeless

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond, 55th Wing Public Affairs

Some 55th Cyber Squadron members united to spread love by providing food, blankets and winter weather clothing to the unsheltered throughout the month of February in Omaha.

According to the 2020 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness is down overall but up among families. Homelessness among families with children in the state of Nebraska is up 4.9% since 2019. 

Margie Smith, PENFED Credit Union community relations specialist, heard of the opportunity to help in the community and decided to share this information with Lt. Col. Joseph Hall, 55th CS commander. 

“Lt. Col. Hall asked that I meet with his booster club to get this implemented,” Smith said. “As honorary co-commander of the cyber squadron, I usually meet with them regularly to offer ideas and help.” 

Once Smith received the dates in February, she shared this opportunity with the booster club and they could not wait to help.

“They jumped all over his project. I love this squadron” Smith said.

Airmen 1st Class Czyrelle Hitosis, 55th Cyber Squadron data center management technician, volunteered because she wanted to do something for the local community.

“It felt great to help out,” Hitosis said. “I enjoy getting the opportunity to help out in my community, so I’m always willing to do whatever I can to give back.”

Hall and his wife Kali and son Jaxon chose Feb. 14 to help. He hoped the experience would serve as a lesson for Jaxon to help individuals in need.  

“We volunteered because every day is a good day to give back to the community and serve the less fortunate,” Hall said. “When we were done, I asked my son what he learned, and his response was that he did not realize there were so many people that needed help staying warm and finding food and that he wants to keep helping.”

Smith hoped this opportunity would not only benefit the unsheltered homeless but also shape the minds of the Airmen to continue with aiding their communities no matter where they are based.

“It gives the volunteer an eye-opening, first-hand experience of our dreaded homelessness in our community and in our world,” Smith said. "Hopefully as the Airmen are moved to another base, they can take that experience with them to help whatever community they are in. The only way we are going to beat homelessness is one person at a time and we can have that impact.”