Alumni, Students Contribute to Anniversary Service Challenge With Lend-A-Hand to Omaha
A Nebraska Wesleyan University tradition has reached beyond Lincoln and into the streets of Omaha.
On Saturday, September 8, NWU alumni, University College students, parents, and University staff volunteered 90 hours of service to two Omaha non-profit organizations: Together, Inc. and Timberlake Outreach Center.
In its fourth year, Lend-A-Hand to Omaha is a philanthropic event that connects Nebraska Wesleyan alumni and friends to those in need. The event, part of the University’s 12,500 Hour Service Challenge, typically draws about 25 participants. This year, the 125th anniversary of NWU, the event drew 45 people.
The event followed on the footsteps of the 18-year-old Lend-A-Hand to Lincoln in which new first-year students are joined by NWU faculty and staff for a day of volunteering at Lincoln non-profit organizations.
Jennifer Howe, a University College student studying social work at Nebraska Wesleyan’s Omaha site, spent the morning with her husband at Timberlake Outreach Center. The organization provides free clothing and necessities to low-income families. Howe, her husband, and other volunteers sorted clothing, diapers, food, bedding, and household items for shoppers to peruse.
Timberlake serves families from diverse cultures; Howe met many new immigrants from Korea, Sudan, and other African countries.
“This was a humbling experience for me,” she said. “By volunteering, I have a greater sense of the huge need to provide help to others, especially people who are struggling to meet their most basic needs.”
In addition to helping others, Howe appreciated the opportunities to further connect with Nebraska Wesleyan students and alumni.
“This was a great experience,” she said. “I can’t wait for the next organized Lend-a-Hand.”
Recent graduate Emalee Barto (’12) reflected on her participation in Lend-a-Hand to Omaha with similar enthusiasm. Barto credited her involvement in Greek life at NWU for helping her gain a better understanding of the importance and value of volunteer work. Her experience at Lend-A-Hand to Omaha was a positive one; it allowed her to expand on her ability to understand the variety of volunteering and service opportunities available in the community.
“I gain a sense of pride when I have the opportunity to participate in any Wesleyan event,” said Barto. “I am able to reflect on my past experiences at NWU, continue to grow as an alumna, and make more positive experiences in the future. “
Are you a NWU student, employee, alum, or friend of Nebraska Wesleyan University? Have you volunteered in your community? If so, join us in service as we volunteer 12,500 hours of service during our 125th anniversary year. Log your service hours.
As of September 28, 344 people and organizations have volunteered 1,086.75 hours.