Restoring Dignity #12

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

“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

Two years ago, a Karen single mother and her two children, ages 6 and 10, came from a refugee camp in Thailand to the United States to begin a new life. For decades, civil war has plagued the country of Burma, forcing hundreds of thousands of Burma natives out of their homes and into refugee camps, where many live for years. Since 2005, the United States has resettled over 50,000 refugees from Burma, with another 150,000 remaining in the Thailand camps.*  For this family of three, the effect of war and the ensuing resettlement have presented formidable challenges. Separated from friends and family, this young mother has had to overcome many obstacles to ensure her children’s well-being. Originally resettled in Texas, she moved her family to Omaha to find employment. And while she has obtained full-time work, it has been exceptionally difficult for her to afford many of the basic household items that she had to leave behind in her previous home. After being made aware of her 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, October 11th, 2014 as we strive to bring hope and resources to this courageous young mother and her two children.

*U.S. Department of State. “Burmese Refugees in Thailand.” Accessed 2014.

The Pictures

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The Solution

We are taking action on Saturday, October 11th, 2014 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




Children’s Request

  • School supplies (papers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils, markers, notebooks, etc)
  • Small backpack for the 10 year old girl
  • Jewelry and other “girl” items for the 10 year old
  • A train set for the 6 year old boy
  • Educational DVDs (no VHS tapes) for the children
  • Gently used or new children’s books

Living Room

  • (1) small 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 tube TVs)
  • 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, October 11th, 2014
  • 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, October 11th, 2014


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.

  • Volunteer:

For this project, we need a minimum of 30 volunteers, ideally 45 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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