Restoring Dignity Home Makeover #40

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

“In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”

~Daphne Rose Kingma

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Their Story

Some people remember catching fireflys and eating sweets when they were children. Others remember long summer nights and playing with kids in the neighborhood until the street lights came on. Mu Wah* remembers nothing but running. “We ran my whole life,” she said. “We weren’t safe in any one place.” Mu Wah was born in Burma and grew up in the heat of a Civil War that is still raging. At eight years old, Mu Wah and her parents finally found a safe place to lay their heads, at the Mae Ra Moe refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Here, she was able to go to school until 7th grade. For reasons unknown, Mu Wah started having seizures as a child and they altered the course of her life. Her passion was school, but due to her risk of seizing at unknown moments, she was forced to give up her dream and stayed at home. As she grew into an adult, Mu Wah was unsure what meaning her life would hold. One day, she was doing work around her home when she saw a Karen soldier walk by. Their eyes met and she smiled and turned away. This first impression made a significant impact on the young man, Pah Pai. He was visiting family in the camp, but after seeing Mu Wah, he knew there was something special. “This girl is so cute,” he told his family. Pah Pai wasted no time and asked Mu Wah if she was interested in being his wife. Pleasantly surprised, she said, “If you can take care of me and my condition, then you can marry me.” Pah Pai didn’t bat an eye, and they were married soon after.

Life was as happy as it could be in the refugee camp. They had five children in the camp, and were enjoying raising them and watching them grow. Life changed suddenly when Mu Wah’s extended family was accepted to be resettled as refugees in Canada. Excitedly, the family dreamed together about what their new life would look like. As each family member left and flew to Canada, Mu Wah and Pah Pai prepared for their departure. However, right before it was their turn, the Canadian border closed and there was no option of resettlement anymore. Devastated and now separated from family, they had to decide if they still wanted to resettle to another country. The only option was the United States, and Mu Wah told Pah Pai that even though they might never see their family again, she wanted to take the chance in America so that their children would have access to a good education. Even though she thought she might not find happiness, she wanted her children to be offered the chance of school. Scared, but determined to give their children a better future, Mu Wah and Pah Pai moved with their five children to Omaha, Nebraska in 2014.

Pah Pai found employment at a meat packing plant and provided a meager living for his family, as they restarted their life. Everything seemed to be going well until one devastating day in 2017. Pah Pai was riding in the passenger seat of his friend’s vehicle when another car slammed into their car at full speed… on the passenger side. Pah Pai was severely injured and spent two years in and out of the hospital as he recovered. The family had no income during this time and struggled immensely. In 2019, Pah Pai received a small settlement from the accident and they used the money as a down payment on a house. Since then, the family has been trying to restart their new life with post-accident Pah Pai. He was disabled from the accident and is no longer able to work. Mu Wah manages the household, takes care of the children, and carefully balances their very small budget, which consists of his one disability payment per month. Due to her seizures, she is unable to work as the seizures come on unexpectedly. As a result of Pah Pai’s accident, and no substantive income in the home, the family has not been able to purchase much furniture or household items. Restoring Dignity found out about their situation and offered them a home makeover, to get the kids off the floor and into beds, and to provide them with a house full of furniture so that they can better thrive in their home. Mu Wah and Pah Pai graciously accepted this offer and are excited to meet all of the volunteers who are going to transform their home on November 20th, 2021. Join us as we aim to provide this sweet and loving family with household items and hope! 

*names changed to protect identity

The Home

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The Solution

We are taking action on Saturday, November 20th, 2021 to provide this family with much-needed household, cleaning and organizational items.

Supplies Needed

Please sign-up for items you will donate on our donation sign-up page.

Donation Drop-Off: All large items (beds, dressers, couches, etc) need to be delivered to:

Restoring Dignity Community Donation Center

1205 South 50th Street

Omaha, NE, 68106

Please sign-up for a 10 minute drop off time on our website.

Smaller items can be dropped off at:

Relevant Community Church

21220 Elkhorn Dr 

Elkhorn, NE 68022

Monday-Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm  

All items must be dropped off by Thursday, November 11th, 2021.

**Our Donation Center will accept items on Saturday, November 13th, 2021 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY to drop off items for this home makeover.**

Volunteers Needed

Relevant Community Church is providing all volunteers for this home-makeover. 

How to Get Involved:

  • Donate items:

We could not do these projects without our donors! They are the heart of these projects! All of the items the family has requested can found on our donation sign up pageBoth new and gently used items are acceptable. Please view our page, “Give This, Not That,” to get an idea of what we consider to be acceptable used items. 

  • Donate financially:

As Restoring Dignity has grown so have our basic operating expenses. We now have our own storage facility where we accept, sort and store all of our donations. We pay monthly rent and utilities and are dependent on the financial contributions that we receive. If you are interested in making a financial contribution, please click here.

  • 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 we receive donations and volunteer sign-ups!

Pictures from the August 2021 RD Home-Makeover:

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