One of my responsibilities each week is to prepare for our Streets of Omaha project. I am getting an early start this week, because this week is packed full of children/youth activities and volunteer events – yeah!
Streets of Omaha was started in the summer of 1999. Candace, our then Family Ministries Director, knew that there were many homeless living on the streets that did not know about the Open Door Mission / Lydia House services or did not trust to come to live with us and did not know Christ – so we started to go to them and we have not stopped. Each Friday Lydia House program members and volunteers make 500 sack lunches in less than two hours and then deliver the lunches throughout North and Downtown Omaha.
It takes many resources to accomplish Streets of Omaha:
First we need food. I ‘shop’ each week from the ODM food pantry for items that are donated that can make a nutritious lunch. At times the pantry is overflowing and this is not a problem – but right now our pantry bare, so I have to be pretty creative to find enough for the lunches. To make a lunch we use bread, lunch meat, a chip product, a dessert product, and a bottle of water. Also the bags and baggies are needed (The bag your daily newspaper comes in works great as a lunch bag.) I would love any donations of these food or bag items.
Next we need the hands to make the lunches.
We are blessed that Creighton Prep has written this project into their sophomore curriculum and during the school year ten students from their Social Justice class come down and help prepare and deliver the lunches.
Clarkson and Methodist Nursing Colleges and the Community Alliance day program will also send volunteers during the school year. But, it is now summer and we are in desperate need of extra hands. Please consider coming down and working along side our program members – it is a fun time.
Then we deliver – and love 🙂
We have been blessed that 2007 volunteer of the year, Lisa Harrison, has been with us from the beginning driving the ODM van to deliver the lunches. What makes this program so special is the relationships that Lisa and the other volunteers develop with the people receiving the lunches. The lunches are given in Christ name and to show His love to all. We pray that someone will come back to ODM and receive help, but if they do not, we want them to know that they are loved. Lisa does an amazing job building this trust with those on the streets. We have several stories of women who did come back with Lisa and have now completed the recovery program – A changed life forever!
I love getting ready for and seeing the results of Streets of Omaha.
Please consider donating food items or your time – most importantly pray for the people served through this project.
Have a great week and maybe I will see you this Friday!
Ronda Nelson, Lydia House Assistant Director
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