Volunteers assemble thousands of ‘Care Kits’ for Omaha students

Originally published: March 24, 2022

Volunteers assemble thousands of ‘Care Kits’ for Omaha students

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) – Hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves Thursday for Omaha Public Schools.

The Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs was full of assembly lines, carefully transforming empty boxes into care kits, stuffed with essential hygiene items.

Deodorant, toothpaste, Chapstick, laundry detergent, tampons, lotion, bubble bath, you name it, it was included.

Metro students have shown a growing need for items many of us take for granted and when the district noticed, they sprang into action emptying tons of donations and separating them all out.

“This was an idea that came from Dr. Logan, superintendent of OPS. She was seeing challenges with kiddos not having what they need to be clean and ready for school and we wanted to help with that. This community is amazing,” said Shawna Forsberg, president and CEO of United Way of the Midlands.

“We want to make sure when kids get in the classroom they’re ready,” added Forsberg, explaining that every kit includes full-sized items tailored to their gender, age, even their hair texture.

Forsberg highlighted the importance not only of having the essentials, but the right ones.

Roughly 400 volunteers will create 4,000 kits as part of the collaboration between United Way of the Midlands and OPS.

One of those volunteers, Julie Misek with OPPD said she’s joining the effort because she feels fortunate to have been able to provide for her own children and she wants to give that gift to parents who may be having a tough time. “There’s a lot of children in the community who just need basics so it makes me feel great to help out,” she said.

“There’s no better thing to do than to help the community out in any way we can,” added Jim Karnik, also with OPPD.”

The Care Kits are expected to be delivered to OPS students on Monday.

HOW TO HELP: Find more information on how to donate items, time, or money on the United Way of the Midlands website.

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