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UNO's Volunteer Day Kicks Off Super Bowl Weekend

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 18:48:52-05

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, but UNO students kicked off volunteer efforts with Super Service Saturday. The day before the big game is a day to give back for these UNO students.

At one Omaha house, volunteers were doing demolition for a remodeling project that will become a habitat for humanity women’s build later this year.

"We're just taking down the insulation, the ceilings, and we might be doing a few other things," said volunteer lead Christopher Schmidt.  “It creates such an amazing feeling within you that you never want to stop giving back once you start.”

Once a month, the student employees of the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility organize a volunteer day like this one.

“Our whole program is about being collaborative with other non-profits in the community. And we just love serving the community and trying to make it a better place,” said volunteer lead Natalie Butz.

Butz and partner Ali Alghaithi led volunteers in cheering on a basketball tournament for the kids in the Abide Omaha program.

“We’re coming today to support the kids, high-five them, show them what a community should be,” said Butz.

Afterwards, they helped to take down Christmas lights on the Abide campus.  Many of the workers were international students or simply volunteers from the community.

“We have students from Omaha, from Japan, and even one of our volunteers is from Syria,” said Alghaithi.

Omar Kaddo, a Syrian refugee, arrived in Omaha two weeks ago, and plans to go to UNO eventually.  For now, he’s glad to help out.

“He said that there are so many people who help him and now he’s giving back and helping again,” Algaithi translated for Kaddo.

Alghaithi said that it’s a sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

“I do have so much homework and exams next week, but it means a lot for me.”

Last month's MLK Day volunteer event was cancelled because of the ice storm.  March's service opportunity will last all 7 days of spring break at UNO.