Restoring Dignity #19
Saturday, February 27th, 2016
“…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest, I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…”
***Before & After Video is at the bottom of this page***
Eight months ago, a Karen family of five came to the United States after living in a refugee camp in Thailand for over 20 years. The father lost his leg, both hands, and his eyes in a land mine explosion ten years ago. In Burma, civil war has plagued the country for over five decades, and many land mines have been placed by the fighting factions. With limited access to healthcare, he has lived for ten years with no prosthetic wear. While waiting to be placed in a foreign country, far from the war surrounding their home country, tragedy struck home again. Two years ago, the wife and mother of their four children passed away unexpectedly. Her death left the father alone, raising four teenage girls by himself. June 2015 arrived and the family was informed that the United States of America would accept them as refugees.
Arriving in Omaha, Nebraska, a newly married young Karen couple graciously offered their home to this family. Unable to work, the father accepted their offer and he and his daughters moved in to their 3 bedroom, 700 square foot apartment. The young Karen couple has since been an immense source of support to the family – the father and his daughters (ages 19, 17, 17 (twins) and 14 years old) live in two bedrooms and the couple lives in the third. In the eight months they have been in the USA, the father has been connected with good caseworkers who are working towards getting him full prosthetic wear. Additionally, he was recently approved to have a full-time caregiver look after him during the day. While life has taken a positive turn for this family, there are still areas where they need additional support. The apartment they share is in need of household items that could make life much easier. For instance, bunk beds for the girls would free up valuable space in their room, dressers would allow everyone to not live out of totes and suitcases, and plates, silverware and proper kitchen wear would make meal making more efficient. Restoring Dignity heard about this family and their needs and decided to take action. On Saturday, February 27th, 2016 we will be helping this family become more comfortable in their home by blessing them with much needed household and organizational items. Join us by donating items, volunteering, and spreading the word about this family and how we are going to support them as they rebuild their life here in America.
We are taking action on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 from 10am-6pm, to provide this family with much needed household, cleaning and organizational items. Come join us to bring hope, encouragement, and blessings to them!
20 cup or larger rice cooker Kitchen towels Cooking utensils Clock Silverware Wash rags Kitchen rug Pots and pans (in good condition, if used) Microwave Broom w/ dust pan Large plastic air-tight container (to store rice) Plastic storage bags (quart size bags, freezer gallon bags, sandwich bags) Garbage bags Saran wrap Aluminum foil Cutting board Mop Mop bucket Drawer and cupboard liners Bulletin board Tupperware Trash can Rug from front of door to living room that is not easy to trip on
Towels (full, hand, and face) (7) toothbrushes Toothbrush holder Toothpaste Toilet paper Hand soap Shampoo (adult and kids) Lotion Bath rug Shower curtain & liner
- Wall shelving (that can be hung from the walls)
(7) loofahs (7) bathroom shower caddies (7) Deodorant Toilet brush Feminine pads Medium size trash can Rug in hallway to bathroom that is not easy to trip on
Outdoor table (4) outdoor chairs Small charcoal grill
(1) twin mattress (comfortable) (1) twin comforter (soft/comfortable) (2) new comfortable pillows Small, soft rug (1) twin sheets (1) twin size plastic zippered plastic bed bug proof mattress protector *(must be “bed bug” proof) Comfortable recliner (50) hangers (1) Hanging shoe racks Textured pictures for the room Small nightstand to hold portable DVD player New underwear (men’s small) New socks Small trash can
(2) bunk bed frames (2) twin mattresses (2) Hanging shoe racks (2) dressers) (1) bookshelf (4) twin size plastic zippered plastic bed bug proof mattress protector *(must be “bed bug” proof) (8) new pillows Girly decorations (posters, paintings, pictures…anything teenage girls would like)
- Shelving that hangs from the wall
Small nightstand Small desk lamp Make-up desk (100) hangers (2) laundry baskets (heavy-duty) Hooks to hang up purses
- (4) Under-the-bed plastic roll-away storage containers
Medium size garbage can Floor lamp New underwear: women’s small (4 teenage girls) New socks
(1) full size plastic zippered bed bug proof mattress protector *(must be “bed bug” proof) (4) new pillows
- Computer desk
- Small hallway-esque table with drawers
- Shelving that hangs from the wall
Dresser (50) hangers
- Hooks for belts, purses, etc.
New underwear (men’s medium, women’s medium) New socks Small desk lamp Desktop computer (their’s is 6 years old and is hardly working) Computer chair Small bookshelf Space heater (their’s is broken)
Couch Computer chair (with arm rests) Computer/homework desk TV stand Decorations (pictures, figurines, picture frames) (1) paper organizer (for bills) (1) picture album Vacuum Picture frames
Dad asked for speakers to plug into his portable DVD player (so he can hear the DVD sound better) Dad also asked for a winter coat (men’s small) as he does not have one
- Dad also needs winter boots (size 10.5 men’s wide)
The four teenage girls all need winter coats too (women’s size small) The girls also need winter boots (sizes: 5, 6, 7,and 7) The family friend asked for a desktop computer as his is 6 years old and is barely working
- The girls asked for a laptop to do homework on – their laptop is 8 years old and will not work anymore
Bathroom cleaner Degreaser (Mr. Clean) (4) Boxes of gloves (disposable and non-disposable) Windex Dawn dish soap Toilet bowl cleaner Carpet cleaning solution Magic erasers Light bulbs (40W to 100W and several 3-way bulbs) Batteries (double AA, triple AAA)
Restoring Dignity Needs
Truck to transport larger items to the family’s apartment on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 Lunch for afternoon and all-day volunteers (pizza, sandwiches, etc.)
- Bungee cords
- Quality tall step ladder (to access items on the storage shelves)
- Storage totes with lids
There are two ways to drop-off items: (1) At our new storage unit, or (2) on the day of the project at the family’s home. If you plan on dropping off donations at the family’s home, please contact us for their address, and plan on having all items dropped off between 10am-11am, the day of the project.
Store Unit Location:
The Restoring Dignity storage unit is located in the garages behind the Omar Baking Building (4383 Nicholas St. Omaha, NE, 68131–the storage unit is in a fenced-in lot on the corner of 45th and Izard street.
Drop-offs at the storage unit will be on the following dates and times:
Saturday, February 13th, 2016 10am-noon
Saturday, February 20th, 2016 10am-noon
**Please note that there will not be any pick-ups for this project. If you are bringing large items, you can drop them off at the location mentioned above, or you can bring them the day of the project. Many apologies for this inconvenience.**
Schedule of the Weekend:
Saturday, February 27th, 2016
There are multiple shifts available:
- Pre-Shift: Saturday, February 20th, 2016 12pm-2pm: This shift involves getting donations ready for the project date. At the Restoring Dignity Storage Unit.
- On the project date (Saturday, February 27th, 2016):
- Shift one: 10am-12pm : This shift is for people who want to help with cleaning, organizing clothes, steaming, carpet cleaning, & fixing items.
- Shift two: 12pm-2pm: This shift is for people who want to help with cleaning, organizing clothes, steaming, carpet cleaning, and building items.
- Shift three: 2pm-4pm: This shift is for those who can help move furniture into the apartment, build, & decorate.
- Shift four: 4pm-6pm: This shift is for those who would like to help decorate, arrange furniture, hang pictures, etc.
- Half-Day: 10am-2pm: This shift is for someone who would like to have a Restoring Dignity immersion.
- Half-Day: 2pm-6pm: This shift is for someone who would like to have a Restoring Dignity immersion.
- Full Day: 10am-6pm: This shift is for someone who is looking for a full-immersion with Restoring Dignity.
- Handyperson shift (anytime between 10am-6pm): This shift is for a person who is skilled with tools, can help fix broken items in the home, can assemble beds and other furniture, and can hang pictures.
- Photographer shift: This shift is for someone who can bring their own professional camera and can take pictures throughout the course of the day
- Post-shift: Saturday, March 5th, 2016. This shift involves putting away all donations and items not used on the project date. Also includes a quick re-organizing of the storage unit.
Sign up for shifts can be found at the Restoring Dignity Sign-Up Page.
How to Get Involved:
- Donate items:
We could not do these projects without our donors! They are the heart of these projects! Please let us know what you can donate, and we will take the items off of the list above. If someone would like to “adopt” a member of this family or a room in the apartment, by fulfilling the donations needed for that area, let us know. Otherwise, if you have any items in your house that you no longer need or use, please consider donating them to these projects. Your donations truly do make a direct impact on families in need. To donate items to this family, visit our volunteer and donation sign up page.
- Donate gift cards
On the day of our projects, we often run low on basic cleaning supplies, hardware for hanging curtains, light bulbs, paper towels, toilet paper, and plastic bed wraps to keep down bed bug populations, among other items. Gift cards to major home stores or hardware stores (Target, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc) are greatly appreciated and help to bridge the supply gap on project days. Contact Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (402) 305-8139, if you are interested in donating a gift card. If you would like to mail a gift card, please address it to: Restoring Dignity c/o Hannah Wyble, 3505 Hawthorne Avenue, Omaha, NE, 68131.
- Donate via check
Restoring Dignity has recently merged and become a program under Southern Sudan Community Association (SSCA), a non-profit refugee resettlement agency. Tax-deductible donations can be made to Restoring Dignity via SSCA. Checks can be mailed to:
3610 Dodge Street, Suite 100
Omaha NE 68131
Restoring Dignity is ran by volunteers, so 100% of all donations go directly to our projects.
For this project, we need a minimum of 50 volunteers, ideally 60 volunteers, spaced out over the course of the day. Our volunteers will clean, organize, steam bed bugs in mattresses and in corners, and decorate. The more volunteers, the faster we can accomplish our goal. We would love to have you join our team! Please visit our Restoring Dignity Sign-Up Page to add yourself to one of our two hour shifts. If you would like to help for a half or full-day, that option is also available.
- Mentor a refugee family
Did you know that hundreds of refugee families are resettled in Omaha every year? If each of them had an American family who could provide mentorship for at least one year, many of the issues that Restoring Dignity steps in to help with could be avoided. If you are interested in mentoring a refugee family (including this one!), contact Southern Sudan Community Association, as they have a mentoring program that is in need of many American volunteers: http://sscaomaha.info/volunteer-opportunities/.
- Spread the word:
Tell your friends and family about this project! They might have an extra lamp or a dresser that is no longer in use. Re-post this blog on your Facebook page, or email it to people you know. The more people that know about these projects, the more donations and volunteers.
Follow us on Facebook:
Restoring Dignity has a Facebook Group that is regularly updated. Please join our group: Restoring Dignity Omaha Facebook Group.
Volunteer Director, Restoring Dignity Omaha
Call or text:
- Email: RestoringDignity@live.com
Before & After Video