Restoring Dignity #17

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

“Treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you – you are to love him as yourself.”

(The Bible, Leviticus 19:34)


Their Story

Four years ago, a Karen family of seven was relocated to the United States, after living in a Thailand refugee camp for over 20 years. They were first moved to Idaho, where they began to rebuild the pieces of a life shattered by the civil war that still plagues Burma. Two years ago, they heard of better employment opportunities and a strong Karen community in Omaha, Nebraska, and decided they would take the chance and move. Since arriving in Omaha, the father has obtained employment and the children have enrolled in school and are doing well. However, the cost of living, plus the challenge of raising a developmentally disabled daughter, has prevented them from having the funds necessary to purchase many basic household items. Currently, everyone in the house sleeps on the floor and their clothing remains in suitcases. Despite the hardships this family has faced, they have done an incredible job assimilating into this new country, and maintaining their small two-bedroom apartment.  We found out about their struggles, and have decided to take action by bringing them the household items they need to flourish in their home. In addition, we are going to teach them further cleaning and organizational skills, as many of the American cleaning supplies we have here are foreign to them. Join us on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 by volunteering, donating items, or spreading the word!

The Pictures

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The Solution

We are taking action on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 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!

Supplies Needed

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

Items listed in red are still needed.


  • 20 cup or larger rice cooker
  • Kitchen towels
  • Cooking utensils
  • Clock
  • Silverware
  • Wash rags
  • Kitchen rug
  • 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
  • Small cabinet to place microwave on


  • Towels (full, hand, and face)
  • Over-the-toilet storage
  • (7) toothbrushes
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo (adult and kids)
  • Lotion
  • Bath rug
  • Shower curtain & liner
  • (7) loofahs
  • (7) bathroom shower caddies
  • (6) Deodorant
  • Toilet brush
  • Feminine pads


  • (4) twin mattresses,preferably new, but gently used also accepted
  • (1) full bed (mattress, boxsprings, frame)
  • (2) bunk bed frames
  • (4) twin size plastic zippered plastic bed bug proof mattress protectors *(must be “bed bug” proof)
  • (2) full size plastic zippered bed bug proof mattress protector *(must be “bed bug” proof)
  • (3) dressers
  • (150) hangers
  • (14) new pillows ($3 at Target or Walmart)
  • (2)  Hanging shoe racks
  • (1) computer/homework desk
  • (1) computer chair
  • Pictures for the rooms/decorations
  • (14) pillow cases
  • (4) twin sheets
  • (2) full sheets
  • (4) twin bed spreads
  • (2) full bed spread
  • New underwear: All members of the family (dad: men’s small, mom & 19 y/o & 17 y/o girls: women’s medium, 13 y/o boy: boys’ large, 9 y/o boy: boy’s medium, 3 y/o girl: 3T)
  • New socks: All members of the family
  • (3) floor lamps
  • (1) book shelf
  • (2) mirrors
  • (3) small nightstands
  • (3) Curtains
  • (2) Plastic under the bed storage containers, for clothing

Living Room

  • (1) futon frame
  • Dining room tables with chairs
  • DVD player
  • Shoe rack
  • Decorations (pictures, figurines, picture frames)
  • (1) Book shelf
  • (1) paper organizer (for bills)
  • (1) picture album
  • Small shop-vac (they have wood floors, but still need a vacuum to keep down bed bug populations)
  • Picture frames
  • Curtains
  • (1) computer/homework desk
  • (1) computer chair

Special Requests

  • The 9 year old boy likes the color blue, is into spiderman, and would like a basketball
  • The 3 year old girl likes barbies
  • School supplies for the 17 year old girl and for the 13 and 9 year old boys (papers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils, markers, notebooks, etc.)
  • Children’s toys and books for the 3 year old
  • Age appropriate books for the older children (ages 9, 13, 17, and 19)
  • The family’s laptop has been plagued by a virus, and they are no longer able to use the internet. We are looking for anti-virus software as well as a volunteer who is tech-savy and can figure out how to get their computer up and running again.
  • The dad asked for basic tools so that he can fix things around the home

Cleaning Supplies

  • Degreaser (Mr. Clean)
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Chemical spray bottle
  • Boxes of gloves (disposable and non-disposable)
  • Windex
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Carpet cleaning solution
  • Magic erasers
  • Large garbage bags
  • Light bulbs

Restoring Dignity Needs

  • Truck to transport larger items to the family’s apartment on Saturday, August, 1st, 2015
  • Lunch for afternoon and all-day volunteers (pizza, sandwiches, etc.)
  • Around 25 different colored laundry baskets to store family items during the day of the project (The different colors will be linked to each room in the house –>Bedroom one will be assigned the black colored laundry baskets, bedroom two will be assigned the white colored laundry baskets, the kitchen will be assigned the red laundry baskets, and so forth. This will help to keep the project better organized. Overall, we are looking for 5 laundry baskets per color –> 5 black, 5 white, 5 blue, 5 red, and 5 gray (or whatever colors there are of laundry baskets)
  • Storage shelves and plastic bins for donation storage
  • Dolly


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.

Map of Restoring Dignity Storage Unit Map of Restoring Dignity Storage Unit

Drop-offs at the storage unit will be on the following dates and times:

Drop-off times:

Saturday, July 18th, 10:00am-noon

Saturday, July 25th, 1:00pm-3:00pm

**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, August 1st, 2015


There are multiple shifts available:

  • 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.
  • Tech-savy volunteer (any time between 10am-6pm): This shift is for someone who is knowledgeable in computers, can fix a computer virus on a laptop, and can install virus protection software.
  • Photographer shift (all-day): This shift is for someone who can bring their own professional camera and can take pictures throughout the course of the day

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 (restoringdignity@live.com) 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: Hannah Wyble, 3505 Hawthorne Avenue, Omaha, NE, 68131.

  • Donate via PayPal

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’s website: http://sscaomaha.info/donate/ . When you donate via PayPal, type “Restoring Dignity” under the “Add special instructions to the seller” box on the PayPal donation screen. Restoring Dignity is ran by volunteers, so 100% of all donations go directly to our projects.

  • Volunteer:

For this project, we need a minimum of 40 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.

Contact us:

Hannah Wyble

Director, Restoring Dignity Omaha

Call or text:


Email: RestoringDignity@live.com

Before & After Video