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OneWorld Volunteers – Yesterday and Today

A young woman standing next to another woman holding a baby outfit

Volunteering is how we began 50 years ago. OneWorld, known then as the Indian-Chicano Health Center – “The Chicano”, opened doors in 1970. We were a team of team volunteers who came together as the result of a Native American child coming to Omaha from an Indian Reservation to receive care and no one would care for him. Out of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church basement, people helping people in need, strengthening our community, building trusting relationships and providing access to basic health care services.

Over the years the depth and breadth of services at OneWorld has grown, but volunteering remains at our roots and critical to caring for our patients. There are hundreds of volunteers that help throughout the year; including 250 physicians in their own offices, 30 clinicians on-site, individuals that help the family literacy center – Learning Community Center of South Omaha, health promotion classes, our weekly food pantry, and surgical care provided at area health systems. Our volunteer and intern opportunities vary in scope from work in clinics to, social work, administration, food pantry, baby boutique and more. “We are very thankful for all of our amazing volunteers” –Angie Washington, OneWorld volunteer supervisor

At OneWorld in addition to our wonderful volunteers we are lucky to have groups from the community that volunteer at events and on our campus as well gathering on their own to volunteer their time.  The Saint Gerald’s Church Sewing and Knitting group have been coming together for five years to make beautiful quilts, hats and other items that they donate to our baby boutique mothers with newborns.

We have a very high caliber of community partners, donors and volunteers join us in our mission to provide access to high quality care to underserved families – out of the goodness of their hearts. Their spirit of giving has a tremendous impact in our patients’ lives.  Javier Cabrera volunteers at OneWorld in our Diabetes Education class. When asked why he chooses to volunteer, “I was raised to understand that one of the best things that you can give is your time and resources.”

It is good to give back and to be a part of something bigger. “Seeing volunteers give of their time and talents because they want to give what they can to someone else – it lets you know there is good happening around you and causes you to want to be a part of it.,” says Angie Washington.

For 50 years, volunteers have been critical in OneWorld reaching patients and providing quality care and services.  Our volunteers help us be good stewards and allows us to be able to provide better care for more people.  As we continue to grow so does our need for volunteers, coming together to create meaningful connections and positively impacting lives and the community around us is the essence of OneWorld.  Thank you volunteers!

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