****Before & After Video is at the bottom of this page*****

Restoring Dignity Sunday, March 24th, 2013

“Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, defend orphans, plead for the widow.”

(Isaiah 1:16b)

Their Story

In 2009, a family of six came to the United States as refugees from Burma.  They are Karenni, meaning they come from the Karenni state, which is the smallest state in the country of Burma. The Karenni make up only one half of one percent of ethnic groups in Burma. To put things into perspective as to how small this group is, there are only two Karenni interpreters in the entire city of Omaha, and only two in all of Canada. Coming from a life of farming in the jungles of Burma to 21st century living in the United States has been difficult, particularly on the parents. The mother suffers from a disability and the father works a job that requires him to commute over two hours each day. The four children consist of three girls, ages 11,15, and 16, and one boy, age 19.  They are all in school, and are doing very well in learning to speak and read English. This family has experienced many hardships in Burma, including one of the daughters who lost eyesight in one eye, due to getting an ember in her eye at the refugee camp. Even after being in the United States for almost 4 years, it has been a struggle to make ends meet, leaving their apartment needing of basic household items. In addition, they lack the resources to fight the bed bug crisis that has plagued Omaha in the past few years. They are also in need of being taught how to use specific cleaning supplies, as they are unable at this time to read the labels on cleaning supply bottles. It is our goal to come in and assist this family by providing them with basic household items, teach them to use cleaning supplies and help clean their carpets and steam to bring down the bed bug population. We hope to restore dignity to this family and their living situation so that they can see that there is hope and a bright future for them here in this country.

Brief history of Burma and why refugees are coming to the United States

This brief video sheds light on the war going in Burma, and why there are refugees that are fleeing their home country to come to the United States, among other countries.

The Pictures

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The Solution

On Sunday, March 24th, 2013, we are going to bring a team of volunteers into this family’s apartment to help clean, organize, and transform it into a place of peace and hope for them. We will use donated items (as requested below) to achieve this purpose.

Supplies Needed


  • Dishes (plates, bowls, cups)
  • Silverwear
  • Tupperware
  • Large plastic container (to store rice in)
  • 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
  • On-the-wall or over-the-door metal pantry organizer


  • Toilet seat
  • Towels (full, hand, and face)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine pads
  • Shampoo
  • Hand soap
  • Over-the-toiler organizer
  • Hair products for the girls (hairspray, gel, etc)
  • Shower organizer (hangs on shower sprayer)
  • Lotion
  • Shower Curtain


  • (2) (4) twin mattreses
  • (1) (2) twin box springs and frames
  • (1) full size bed (mattress, box spring, frame)
  • (1) bunk bed
  • Zippered plastic mattress covers to help with bed bugs ($8 at Walmart for twin size mattresses)
  • (12) new pillows ($2-$3 at Target or Walmart)
  • Pillow cases (used or new)
  • (3) dressers
  • Teenage girl room decorations
  • Teenage boy room decorations
  • Clothing and shoes (girls wear size 6 and 7 shoes, father and son wear size 7 men’s shoes, mother wears 6.5 shoes) (Clothing size for everyone in the family is small to medium in junior, men’s and women’s).
  • Sports bras with spaghetti straps
  • Make-up and fingernail polish for girls
  • Curtains and curtain rods for all windows
  • One  Two Three bedroom mirrors
  • Pictures for the rooms/decorations
  • Sheets (all sizes)
  • Bedspreads
  • 3 dressers

Living Room

  • Recliner
  • Curtains and curtain rods for window
  • Shoe organizer (closet or floor)
  • Decorations (pictures, figurines)
  • Hanging shelves
  • Book shelf
  • Small desk/hutch
  • Vacuum with attachment (bags are better, to contain bed bugs)
  • Fabric steamer (to kill bed bug eggs)

Cleaning Supplies

  • Degreaser
  • Bleach
  • Chemical spray bottle
  • Gloves (to clean with)
  • Rags
  • Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Windex
  • Dish soap
  • Toilet bowl cleaner


All items can be dropped off at:

3505 Hawthorne Avenue Omaha, NE, 68131

If no one is home, please leave the items on the porch. We sort all of our donations here, and then transfer them to the family’s house on the weekend of action. Directions: Go to 38th and Cuming Street, turn going North. Drive two blocks, then take a right (going East). House is 2 blocks East on Hawthorne Avenue, on the right. Cream house with lion statues on the porch.

Schedule of the Weekend:

Sunday, March 24th, 2013


There will be four shifts available:

  • Shift one: 10am-12pm : This shift is for people who want to help with cleaning, organizing clothes, steaming, carpet cleaning
  • Shift two: 12pm-2pm: This shift is for people who want to help with cleaning, organizing clothes, steaming, carpet cleaning
  • Shift three: 2pm-4pm: This shift is for those who can help move furniture into the apartment, and help build and fix things.
  • Shift four: 4pm-6pm: This shift is for those who would like to help decorate, arrange furniture, hang pictures, etc.

Sign up for shifts can be found at the Restoring Dignity Sign Up Page.

How to Get Involved:

  • Donate items:

We couldn’t do these projects without our donors! They are the heart of these projects! Please let me know what you can donate, and I will take it 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 needs for that area, let me know. Otherwise, if you have any items in your house that you no longer need or use, please consider donating it to these projects. Your donations truly do make a direct impact on families in need.

  • Volunteer:

For this project, we need a minimum of 20 volunteers, ideally 30 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 goals. 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 hours shifts. If you would like to help for a half or full-day, that option is also available.

  • Spread the word:

Tell your friends and family about this project! They might have an extra lamp or a bunk bed frame that is no longer used. Re-post this blog on your facebook, or email it. The more people that know about these projects, the more donations and volunteers.


Restoring Dignity has a facebook Group that is regularly updated. Please join our group: Restoring Dignity Omaha Facebook Group.

Contact us:

Call or text:
Call or Text:
Cell: 402-452-1284

Before & After Video

2 thoughts on “Restoring Dignity March 2013

  1. if you are still looking for a single bed with matress let me know someone just told me they have one

    1. Thank you for the offer! We actually had a couple purchase brand new beds for this family, so we no longer need any mattresses. Keep us in mind when we help the next family, though, as they will most likely need beds as well. The next projected project will most likely happen mid-May.

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