OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — About 2,000 people are homeless in Omaha every night, according to the Open Door Mission. Since 1954, Open Door Mission has been helping people who are homeless in Omaha and Friday, the organization got a little help of its own.
Stella Umphreys, Treynor High School Junior, spent her day sprucing up the children's room at Lydia House.
“I just feel like there’s people out here in the world that just need that encouragement to say, 'You can get out of here.' I just like interacting with them,” Umphreys said.
She as well as all middle and high school students in Treynor put in 1,800 total service hours Friday.
“That’s almost like 70 full time staff, which is more than we have at times,” Candace Gregory, CEO, Open Door Mission said. “When you put this number of people together and look at the quality and quantity of work that can be done it's really helping us to be ready for spring.”
They worked on everything from a 14,000 sq. ft. garden, to making 1,000 bag lunches.
Treynor Middle School Principal Jenny Berens said this annual service-learning project is not just a day off school.
“They understand really how good we have it,” Berens said. “They learn a lot about homelessness and poverty and what we can do to help our surrounding communities. They have such an awesome spirit about it and they leave here feeling good about themselves and what they've done to help others in need.”
Umphreys enjoys volunteering at the Open Door Mission so much she's also been doing it on her own for years.
“It means so much to me,” Umphreys said. “I felt like, it’s kind of been my vision for the future. I'll come back here a lot more.”
That's the goal, to show kids real life and how they can help others.
Open Door Mission has several urgent needs listed on its website including personal hygiene kits. If you’d like to help place travel sized items into a zip-lock bag and bring it to any of the Open Door Mission Donation Centers.
Hygiene kits include:
- Tissue Pack
- 7″ Comb
- Double Blade Razor
- 2 oz. Shampoo
- 1.5 oz./ 2 oz. Shower Gel
- Shave Cream Packet