Restoring Dignity #14

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

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

(Isaiah 1:16b)

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


Their Story

Three years ago, a Karen family of eight moved to the United States in pursuit of a new life, away from their war-torn home country of Burma. After spending 10 years as refugees in a Thailand camp, the family was finally afforded a new beginning in this country. Life here, however, has not been easy. With five children and an elderly grandmother to care for, it has been extremely difficult for them to obtain many basic household items, such as beds, dressers, silverware, and towels. Furthermore, their youngest child, now 9 months old, was born premature and spent one month in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Four months ago, they moved to Omaha, in hopes of finding better employment and a strong Karen community. Thankfully, the father has obtained full-time work and is able to provide for his family’s immediate needs of food and shelter. However, the prospect of buying other items, such as silverware, a television, and beds, is not feasible with his minimum wage income. After being made aware of their struggle, we have decided to bring this family much-needed household items, teach them cleaning skills, and provide them with housing advocacy.  Join us on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 as we strive to bring hope and resources to this family of eight.

The Pictures

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The Solution

We are taking action on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 from 10am-6pm, to provide this family with much needed household items, organization, and to teach them how to use cleaning supplies. Come join us to help bring hope, encouragement, and blessings to them!

Supplies Needed



  • Towels (full, hand, and face)
  • (7) toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo (adult and kids)
  • Baby soap
  • Baby lotion
  • Lotion
  • Bath rug
  • Shower curtain & liner
  • (8) loofahs
  • (7) bathroom shower caddies (like this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-Shower-Caddy/36128378)
  • Shower head organizer
  • (7) Deodorant
  • Toilet brush
  • Bath toys (for the 9 month old baby)


  • (1) full bed (mattress, box springs, frame)
  • (4) twin mattresses,preferably new, but gently used also accepted
  • (2) twin box springs
  • (2) twin frames
  • (2) bunk bed frames
  • (5) twin size plastic zippered plastic bed bug proof mattress protectors (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fresh-Ideas-Bed-Bug-Bug-Blocker-Mattress-Protector/21387686)
  • (1) full size plastic zippered plastic bed bug proof mattress protectors (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fresh-Ideas-Bed-Bug-Bug-Blocker-Mattress-Protector/21387686)
  • (14) new pillows ($3 at Target or Walmart)
  • (2) (3) dressers
  • Plastic hangers
  • (1) Hanging shoe rack
  • Pictures for the rooms/decorations
  • Sheets (3)twin & full, and (2) twin extra long)
  • (5) twin bed spreads
  • (1) full bed spread
  • New underwear (Mother: women’s small, Father: men’s small, Grandmother: women’s medium, 17 year old girl: women’s medium, 15 year old girl: women’s small, 13 year old boy: men’s small, 9 year old girl: girl’s large).
  • New socks: All members of the family
  • (3) floor lamps

Children’s Request

  • School supplies (papers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils, markers, notebooks, etc.)
  • Make-up station for the teenage girls (vanity w/ mirror, make-up, nail-polish, jewelry)
  • Baby toys & general items for a baby boy
  • Educational DVDs (no VHS tapes) for the children
  • Gently used or new children’s books & baby books
  • 9 year old girl likes cartoons, mysteries & the color pink
  • 13 year old boy likes soccer & would like a soccer ball
  • 15 year old girl likes the color light blue
  • 17 year old girl does not have a preference for any color

Family Clothing Requests (this family is used to the warm jungle climate of Burma, and is having a difficult time adjusting to the Omaha winter weather, thus they have requested winter clothing items)

  • Mom: Knee-high warm winter boots, women’s size 6
  • Dad: Steel toe boots, men’s size 5, winter coat
  • Grandmother: Knee-high fur-lined winter boots, women’s size 8.5, & a very large (her request) warm winter coat & hat (size women’s XL)
  • 15 year old girl: Any style of women’s shoes size 6
  • 9 year old girl: Any style of girl’s shoes size 6-7, clothes
  • 9 month old baby boy: Size 4 & 5 diapers, size 24-36 month clothing

Living Room

  • (1) couch
  • Decorations (pictures, figurines, picture frames)
  • (1) Book shelf
  • (1) computer desk
  • (1) computer chair
  • (1) paper organizer (for bills)
  • (1) picture album
  • Vacuum with attachment (bagged is preferred)
  • Light bulbs
  • Television (no large tube TVs, unless it can be delivered to the apartment on the day of the project)
  • Television stand
  • DVD player

Cleaning Supplies

  • Degreaser (Mr. Clean)
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Chemical spray bottle
  • Boxes of gloves (disposable and non-disposable)
  • Cleaning rags
  • Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Windex
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Carpet cleaning solution
  • Magic erasers

Restoring Dignity Needs

  • Truck to transport larger items to the family’s apartment on Saturday, January 31st, 2015
  • Storage shelves and plastic bins for donation storage
  • Dolly
  • Monthly rent for a storage unit (to store larger items like couches, beds, dressers, etc), with the approximate cost being between $50-$75/month


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.

**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, January 31st, 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.

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.

  • 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 Vlach-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/for-volunteers/.

  • 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.


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

Contact us:

Hannah Vlach-Wyble

Director, Restoring Dignity Omaha

Call or text:


Email: RestoringDignity@live.com

Before & After Video


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