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'Operation Warmth for Warriors' aims to help homeless veterans and break world record

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 11:24:26-04

WACO, Texas — Local organizations are collaborating for a Baylor-led project to assist homeless veterans across the state and break a Guinness World Record at the same time.

Organizers are raising money to purchase at least 1,000 sleeping bags for Texas veterans without housing.

The project,'Operation Warmth for Warriors' originated in the Baylor School of Education's sport management program.

Associate professor Mar Magnusen and graduate student Sam Esparza created the concept and are now partnering with the Baylor VETS program and the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network's Veterans One Stop.

"I said, 'Man...what if we could do a fundraiser that would help people in Texas, but could also break a world record?'," Magnusen said of the project's conception.

Veterans One Stop program supervisor Meagan Noranbrock said the sleeping bags serve as a bridge to provide homeless veterans with further resources.

"Being able to have a point of contact, a face they can see, someone that they can speak to that's not only going to provide something temporary like a sleeping bag but also will have the tools necessary to help them in the long run," Noranbrock said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the project had raised about a quarter of its $20,000 goal.

The final day to assist the project is June 4.

Organizers plan to host an official record-breaking event at McLane Stadium on July 4 before distributing the sleeping bags across the state.

To donate, anyone can visit the project's web page.