Students volunteer for spring break

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March 23rd, 2011

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Omaha, NE – A fortunate few here in the Omaha metro are on spring break this week, a week of no work, or school, with time to sleep in, take a trip, or spruce up the house. But, others are busy doing a little spring cleaning for other people in the community.

Every night, approximately 20,000 people are homeless in Nebraska and 2,000 of them live in Omaha, according to the Open Door Mission homeless shelter. Students and staff at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will help the nonprofit organization in this year’s ninth annual Seven Days of Service project.

Jillian McClenahan is one of the student organizers. McClenahan said throughout this week, high school and college students will volunteer at 20 local nonprofits, like the Open Door Mission.

Seven Days of Service volunteers at the Open Door Mission's Timberlake Outreach Center (Photo credit Anthony Davis)

“This is a large volunteer project where over 1,500 students have volunteered around Omaha to help out and do different things,” McClenahan said.

Inside the Timberlake Outreach Center, a former grocery store building, are dishes that sit alongside a row with Tupperware, blenders, toasters, and even baby bottles.

Christine Dougherty and Tiffany Privette wear matching t-shirts, with the UNO Seven Days of Service logo printed on them. They organized a newly received box of donations with kitchen items packed inside. Dougherty said this is her first year volunteering with the project.

“It gives you an opportunity to see how other people have to survive and live,” Dougherty said, “and it’s a good opportunity to change your perspective on things.”

Christine Dougherty volunteers at UNO's Seven Days of Service (Photo credit Anthony Davis)

Dougherty said she’ll volunteer again with the UNO Service project and she encourages others to get involved in helping the community.

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