Last Saturday morning, I met with my college Alumni group from Nebraska Wesleyan University for the 2nd annual “Lend a Hand to Omaha” volunteer event. Twenty-three adults and three children showed up. We split into two groups; one going to Hillrise Elementary in Elkhorn to mulch trees– the other coming to Open Door Mission.
Once at Open Door Mission, we again split into two groups. One group worked at the Timberlake Outreach Center on various projects, and my group was assigned to deep clean the kitchen. One woman volunteered to scrape down and clean the fryer. The rest of us were assigned to empty and scrub down the walk-in cooler. By the time we were done, we were all covered in cleaning products mixed with whatever was on the walls, ceiling, and floor. Listen, I don’t even like cleaning my own fridge, but we had fun. I can’t say the cooler is completely shiny or new looking, but it’s clean, it smells good and the old food is gone and there is room for the new.
I could have slept in that day. I suppose I could have decided that since I work at the Open Door Mission, I already do enough, so let the volunteers do this type of work. So, why did I show up? Great things do happen here and as a staff member, I know there is always more to be done at the end of every day in order to make special things possible. I wanted to help because it was only a few hours of “my time”, and I knew it would make a big difference.
Many staff come in during their own time to help transport our guests to various activities (Jazz on the Green, Henry Doorly Zoo, bowling, etc.). Some come with their college Alumni group, church, or family to volunteer. Others come to help with community events, such as the Walk-a-Thon
and Drumsticks on Wheels. The Walk-a-Thon
is coming up, and I will be one of the walkers. It only takes an afternoon, and it does make a big difference. I encourage you to also take the time to volunteer. Join me!
Learning Center Director