Stories
Some call it stories. Others call it a blog. But here you'll find nuggets of goodness to use and -- you guessed it -- SHARE!

AFSP Volunteers are Lifesavers

Written by Katie Fourney    on September 9, 2019    in
Every volunteer comes to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Nebraska with a deeply personal reason for becoming involved. Often, these lifesavers are propelled to spread suicide prevention awareness because of their own pain.

AFSP is working to prevent the second leading cause of death for Nebraskans age 15-34 and ninth leading cause of death for all age groups. Their work saves lives and brings hope to those affected by suicide through suicide prevention trainings, community outreach and mental health advocacy.

Volunteers like Mark and Jenn make every hour count because of a desire to let others know that they are not alone.



Volunteer stories: Omaha Rapid Response

Written by Katie Fourney    on August 27, 2019    in

The Internet is an amazing thing.

Every year, a group of Northwest Arkansas churches partner together for a mission trip and volunteer for a week. Early this summer they asked Google, ‘Where should we go? Who needs our help?’

They discovered this posting on SHARE Omaha. They were drawn to Omaha Rapid Response’s need for flood relief volunteers. Their 50 student and 20 adult volunteers could make a big difference in King Lake.
 


Turning fashion into action: Humble Lily

Written by Katie Fourney    on August 13, 2019    in
  
The Humble Lily is an Omaha gem that is becoming not-so-secret. The Humble Lily is an immaculate boutique at 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 114 in Shaker Place that sells lightly used women’s clothing. The proceeds from The Humble Lily support Bethlehem house, a 12-bedroom maternity home for pregnant women in crisis.

Last year Humble Lily funds accounted for 30% of operating income for Bethlehem House. Volunteers are a key part of keeping overhead low. One of these valued volunteers is Kaye.



Kaye is a retired nurse who couldn’t retire from helping others. She first came to Humble Lily as a shopper and was drawn to the mission.

“I’m an organized person and I wanted to help with the back room,” said Kaye.

Volunteer highlight: A ride-along with the Truck Brigade

Written by Katie Fourney    on July 30, 2019    in
Partnership 4 Hope's Youth Mart, a donation center for former foster youth, needs new Truck Brigade volunteers! Sign up to join the Truck Brigade here.
 
Overheard during a ride-along with the Truck Brigade, as a team of volunteers delivered a couch, bed frame and mattress to a recipient of donation items:
“You got enough truck straps for that couch?”
“The apartment’s up there? It’s has to be. Our deliveries are never on the first floor.”
“There’s another door, right? I don’t think it’s coming in this way...”
Vvvv-room,” said a little boy in Spiderman pajamas as he drove his toy car under the couch being carried back out door number one.
“Look out, the kitty is trying to escape!”

Volunteer highlight: Food Bank for the Heartland

Written by Katie Fourney    on July 23, 2019    in
It’s all about perspective. If you see a carrot with three or four legs at the supermarket, you might “turnip” your nose at it. At a farmer’s market? That organic carrot has personality and it’s worth at least double!   

On a Tuesday evening at the Food Bank for the Heartland, volunteers inspected and sorted pot roast veggies, including carrots with a few extra legs, for distribution to the 93 counties and over 500 agencies the Food Bank serves in Nebraska and Western Iowa.

In just two hours, volunteers cleared 1725 pounds of Pot Roast Veggies to feed our hungry neighbors.

“This is my fourth time and I want to keep coming,” said volunteer Jenny. “It’s fun, you meet new people, it’s easy work and I feel good knowing my work is providing food for people in need.”

Volunteer highlight: Scatter Joy Acres

Written by Katie Fourney    on July 8, 2019    in
Peace, healing, joy. Each guest comes to Scatter Joy Acres looking for something different. When they find it, they’re hooked.

“You come one time and that’s all it takes. You’ll be back,” says Kim, a regular Scatter Joy Acres volunteer.

Scatter Joy Acres is a 26-acre urban rescue and therapy ranch, located at 49th and Newport in Omaha. Founder Joy Bartling and a team of volunteers take in neglected animals and give them a renewed purpose providing therapeutic interactions for at-risk children, seniors and veterans.

Volunteers Kim and Tina speak proudly of the challenges their favorite animals have overcome.

Volunteer highlight: Open Door Mission

Written by Katie Fourney    on July 1, 2019    in

Open Door Mission, who seeks to end the cycle of homelessness and poverty, serves over a million nutritious meals per year. To make that happen, countless vegetables need chopped and sack lunches must be prepared. Walk-in volunteers at the community kitchen are welcome Monday-Friday from 9-11am and 2-4pm and are vital to getting meals out the door.



On a Monday afternoon a team of “Borsheims Gives” volunteers, along with two walk-in volunteers, were preparing carrots, onions and potatoes for a hearty stew.

“Helping other people is fulfilling,” said Nancy, part of the Borsheims crew. “I’m loving this, coming here today and doing this.”

Volunteer highlight: Habitat Omaha's "Tuesday Crew"

Written by Katie Fourney    on June 25, 2019    in

We’ve told you about Kathy who bakes homemade cookies for The Hope Lodge every Wednesday and Jack who shares stories of his grandfather’s train at The Durham Museum.

“You know who else you should visit? The ‘Tuesday Crew’,” whispered a little birdy.



For 30 years, a group of volunteers has shown up every Tuesday to swing hammers for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. Over 57,600 hours have been served by the Tuesday Crew, all in an effort to increase affordable homeownership opportunities in the Omaha metro.

We had to meet the Tuesday Crew.

Volunteer highlight: The Durham Museum

Written by Katie Fourney    on May 30, 2019    in
Jack, a Durham Museum volunteer, holds a photo of his grandfather conducting the same train he sits in at the museum.


The Durham Museum is full of treasures. Among the most valuable are the volunteers and the stories they tell. With some volunteers giving more than 400 hours per year, they captivate visitors with tales of Omaha history.

“People don’t want to have somebody read a script. They fall asleep. People want to be entertained,” says Jack, a Durham Museum volunteer.

Jack came to the Museum after his storytelling talents were discovered on an Ollie the Trolley tour where, as a passenger, he enhanced the tour by sharing additional tidbits of Omaha history with the crowd.

 “I just know Omaha.”

Now 12 years later, Jack has narrated metro history to guests from all over the world. He spends most of his time in the Pullman car, which happens to be part of a train his grandfather conducted.
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