OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Ron and Twany Dotzler co-founded Abide in 1989. The organization has grown considerably since and now operates from the former Nebraska School for the Deaf near 42nd and Bedford Avenue, a 24-acre campus with several buildings totaling 208,000 square feet.
The Dotzler's son, Josh Dotzler, serves as chief executive officer.
"Our work is really to bring revitalization to this part of our city by building safer neighborhoods, stronger families, and then raising up a generation of leaders who won't leave the community but will stay and be a part of the revitalization," Dotzler said.
That commitment includes sprucing up homes — more than 70 in just the last few years. That know-how has come in handy as Abide has renovated its own campus.
Two significant projects include a fitness center and gym — of which Dotzler, a point guard at Creighton from 2005 to 2009, is especially proud.
Another former Bluejay, Doug McDermott, reflected on his experiences with Abide during his induction into the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
"We'd go over to north Omaha to help with Abide and paint houses," McDermott said. Adding, "I just feel like we did so much good in Omaha that impacted the community in a positive way."
Dotzler said Head Coach Greg McDermott donated to Abide's fitness center and consistently lends additional support, including to Lights of Hope.
The annual Christmastime campaign provides hundreds of families with hot meals, food to take home, as well as toys for children.
On Saturday, December 11, people who've registered in advance will drive through Abide's campus to receive the items.
Dotzler said the 200 volunteers who ensure a smooth process include church and business groups, as well as people who've been helped by Abide in the past.
"We just believe every experience we have should be transformational. It's not one sided. It's not transactional. But when we work together in community, serving and loving each other, incredible things happen," he said.
Registration for 2021 Lights of Hope has closed.
To learn about upcoming campaigns and volunteer opportunities, visit www.abideomaha.org.