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2009.03.06 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Students Surrender Spring Break to Volunteer

Omaha – The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Service Learning Academy again has organized UNO's Seventh Annual Seven Days of Service Saturday, March 14 and Monday, March 16 through Saturday, March 21.

Students from UNO, the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute, Omaha North and Benson High Schools, and the Omaha Public Schools Career Center will landscape, renovate and repair six to eight homes in Omaha and Council Bluffs. The students will also renovate the Salvation Army Stepping Stones children's playground, the Stephen’s Center and the Salvation
Army Gene Eppley Camp in Bellevue.

The following work sites are part of the Seven Days of Service project.

Omaha (Habitat for Humanity of Omaha)
3119 Seward St.
3740 N. 39th St.
4007 Parker St.

Salvation Army Stepping Stones playground (36th and Cuming Streets)
Salvation Army Gene Eppley Camp in Bellevue (915 Allied Road)
Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha's Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft St.
Elmwood Park, 808 S. 60th St.

Council Bluffs (Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs)
922 Avenue C
2546 4th Avenue
1417 Avenue M

As part of the project, volunteers will also work with Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs to renovate a home in honor of John McDonald, a victim of the 2007 Von Maur shootings. The home at 1417 Avenue M in Council Bluffs will be called the John McDonald Memorial Home, in honor of a donation made by McDonald's family to Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs.

At a Feb. 28 ceremony honoring the project, McDonald’s wife, Kathy McDonald, said: “John McDonald was a man who embraced life. He loved his family and friends … John was blessed with an adventuresome spirit combined with many talents and interest. Woodworking and building were among them. So was a strong commitment to peace and social justice. John would be humbled and grateful to know the Habitat for Humanity House in Council Bluffs is being built in his memory.”

“We’re expecting to recruit 1,000 students to volunteer during this week of serving and learning,” said Kathe Oleson Lyons, assistant director of UNO’s Service Learning Academy.

Oleson Lyons estimates that this year’s student volunteers will donate the equivalent of more than $95,000 in labor.

“For the past seven years, UNO has provided its students the opportunity to give back to the city during their spring break,” she said. “The seventh year of the Seven Days of Service project is a testament to the university’s centennial theme of being central to our community.”

Volunteers will work each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers can register at 8:15 a.m. each day at the Lake Point Building, 2401 Lake St. Shuttles are offered at the various work sites to take students to and from the UNO Milo Bail Student Center.

A closing celebration is planned for 1 p.m. Friday, March 21 at the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom on the UNO campus.

For more information contact UNO's Service Learning Academy at (402) 554-6019 or visit www.unomaha.edu/servicelearning.

UNO is being assisted by Wells Fargo Bank, Family Housing Advisory Services and Mutual of Omaha. The program’s sponsors include the following: ARTFX, UNO Aviation Institute, Bank of the West, Bruegger’s Bagels, Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Justin Thyme Café and Catering, Lewis Central Middle School, Omaha Beef, Omaha Career Center, Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Red Zone BBQ, Salvation Army, Starbucks, Stephen Center, University of Nebraska Foundation, University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute and Winchell’s Donuts.

Financial/other partners for 924 Avenue C (Council Bluffs) include: The Iowa West Foundation, the City of Council Bluffs, United Capital Investors, LLC, Peter Kiewit Foundation and Iowa Finance Authority.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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