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2011.06.30 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Donation to Help Families Sleep Easier

Omaha - Sleeping in a dorm room bed may not seem like a luxury, but when you are used to sleeping on the ground in a tent, it is a real treat.

Next week, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will help hundreds of former tent camp refugees experience the pleasure of resting in a bed, on a real mattress.

UNO is replacing 284 dorm room beds with more efficient furniture. But rather than discarding the old pieces, UNO is recycling – and donating all of the beds to Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) for its refugee resettlement program.

“This is a tremendous help to us,” said Maggie Kalkowski, director of LFS’ Refugee Services and International Center for the Heartland. “This single donation will help replenish our bedding inventory needs for almost one year.”

Organizers have set three days aside to move the beds from the University Village dorm rooms and into donated storage space. The moving process begins Tuesday morning, July 5, and will continue until 6 p.m. each day until completed.

"We are delighted to partner with Lutheran Family Services,” said Bill Pickett of University Housing at UNO. “Community engagement is one of UNO's strategic goals, which makes this partnership all the more worthwhile and important in the community we serve."

The entire project depends on volunteers and donations – from the movers, to the storage, and even the trucks.

“This will make such a difference,” Kalkowski said. “I wish everyone involved could see the faces of the children for whom this might be their first experience ever sleeping in a bed. It’s priceless.”

Call Wendy Townley, UNO University Relations, at (402) 554-2762 for more information.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. 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.

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