My Experience with Families in Action Community Health and Service Learning A Volunteer Perspective

Families in Action has undoubtedly touched my life. Although my schedule has become exceedingly hectic with work and academics, I can truthfully say that my time volunteering has become the highlight of my week. It makes all the difference in my ability to reflect upon my week with a pure sense of joy and fulfillment.

Each week, I look forward to the precious time I get to spend with the beautiful children of the community, and each week I am reminded of the meaning of my life: to impact the lives of those around me in a positive way and to learn from them in the process.

Not only is it a stress relief from college life to run and play outside with the children, but also, it continually reminds me of what I am most passionate about in my own life. It is easy to foster my desire to become a nurse by observing and participating in the health education that Families in Action provides, and even easier to integrate my desire to learn Spanish while conversing with Martha, Luis or others in the car to and from a site each week.

However, for me the most meaningful part is the people who make up the program. Virginia, Gema, and the others in the community look out for each other on such a deep level. It is obvious how much the women and children care about each other as they go out of their way to welcome new guests and, as staff does, set up carpooling each week for those who do not have cars.

There in an undeniable sense of community within Families in Action and I leave each week with a full heart knowing I am unbelievably lucky to be welcomed into such a loving group of people.

Annie T.

Omaha, Nebraska

Creighton University class of 2016

Spanish, Pre-nursing

Families in Action participants are guided in stretching by Marcie during our recent Zumbathon.

Families in Action participants are guided in stretching by Marcie during our recent Zumbathon.

Zumbathon

Zumbathon
By: Families in Action
Where: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
1326 S 26th Street, Omaha

When: Friday, October 3, 2014

Time: 6 to 7:30pm

Cost: $ 5.00 Suggested donation for adults, as always, children are free and welcome.
Costo: $ 5.00 donación sugerida por adulto, y como siempre los niños son gratis y bienvenidos

Please join our Creighton students and sponsors from Delta Delta Delta and our Interfaith Families in Action participants as we celebrate Autumn with an evening of dance!

Por favor ven a celebrar en Otoño con los estudiantes de Creighton, Delta Delta Delta y Familias en Acción con una hermosa tarde de baile (Zumba).
Made possible through our partnership with Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
Hecho posible gracias a nuestra asociación con Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
More information:
Gema 402-616-4721 or IHS 402-660-6689

Dunklau Grant to Benefit Interfaith and Families in Action Participants

“I am part of Interfaith Health and Familias en Accion because there are many programs where I can learn. So can my children. I can also spend time with my children during programs. We make new friends. We learn together. The workers and volunteers always help us in whatever we need. Thank you for making a difference!”
Abigail, age 30, Interfaith Health Participant

Interfaith Health Service (IHS) via Familias En Accion (FIA) is pleased to share the wonderful news that we were recently awarded a grant for $10,000 from the Rupert Dunklau Foundation. This generous grant will be used to develop our programming in the areas of education, health and cultural exchange.

At IHS/FIA, we are growing to meet the changing needs of the South Omaha community by building trusting relationships within the community. IHS/FIA is well known for our collaborative, asset-based approach to programming, and we continually reach out to others interested in a lived experice of service to others within the context of mutual learning.

IHS will extend its scope and services with the assistance of the Dunklau Foundation by working with neighborhoods in the areas directly surrounding our home office at Grace Lutheran church, where a 25% and 44% poverty rate is documented (the New York Times, Mapping Poverty Website). It has long been shown that communities lacking in resources are the most at-risk. IHS will utilize funding from the Dunklau Foundation to meet the needs of the growing Latino Community and to provide a cultural exchange between our volunteers and participants. Specifically, IHS will access individuals who are relatively socially isolated and have few, if any, financial and practical resources necessary to access educational, physical activity, health and wellness programs. While providing opportunities for positive social interaction, programs will continue to track outcomes in the areas of improved education, wellness and self-esteem.

Our unique outreach efforts consistently yield successes far beyond goals. This is due to the support of funders like the Dunklau Foundation and others, the motivated population of children and families we serve, and the high level of trust built up over the years by IHS, something very few other organizations have been able to achieve.

We are deeply grateful not only to Pastor Damon for his work and vision within our organization, but also to our participants and staff who are deeply comitted to our mission and community. We are also thankful for our many supporters, volunteers and all of our congregation members and partners who work with us and keep us close in prayer.
With Thanks,
Virginia, Gema and Kaela, IHS/FIA

Families in Action/Interfaith Health Service Receives Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Grant

We are delighted to share that Families in Action via Interfaith Health Service received a grant again this year (2014) to address Childhood Obesity with our partner, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center!

According to the 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment, co-sponsored by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, childhood obesity ranked as the number one concern of parents in the greater Omaha Metropolitan area. Childhood obesity is a health crisis on the national level, as well, affecting 17 percent of children and teens in the United States. Obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is committed to preventing childhood obesity through proactive programs focused on education. Children’s dedication stems from its mission—“so that all children may have a better chance to live”—and its responsiveness to the health concerns of Heartland families. Children’s is uniquely positioned in the area to be an effective leader for change on this critical issue. By providing leadership and support to the community, Children’s hope to achieve the vision of eliminating childhood obesity. In 2013, Children’s teamed up with five community partners to reverse the dangerous trend of childhood obesity through the first-ever Preventing Childhood Obesity Community Grants.

Families in Action was again awarded a grant from Children’s, to be used in our multi-faced programs impacting the health and well-being of Latino youth and families living in South Omaha. By partnering with Children’s, Families in Action and IHS will continue to provide fitness, nutrition and cooking classes and mobile health screenings, while regularly measuring participants’ health data.

We are deeply grateful for the support, commitment and dedication of Children’s in working with our organization, participants and community to address childhood obesity. Without their efforts, our work and the differences we see in the lives of our children and their parents, would not be possible.

Virginia, Gema and Kaela

Methodist College Mobile Clinic Visits Families in Action Site

Interfaith Health Service and Families in Action were pleased to host Methodist College Mobile Clinic and nursing students past month at our St. Francis Church site.  The eight nursing students, accompanied by Dr. Kelly Zinn, MSN, RN, Nursing Professor, provided blood sugar screenings, height and weight measurements, bmi, and blood pressure checks.  Our literacy students, along with our Families in Action participants and staff, were honored to work with such an amazing group of students and faculty.

Our participants, men, women and children over 18, were pleased with their health screening results and credit regular participation in educational, nutritional and exercise programs conducted via Interfaith with meeting their health and wellness needs.  As a result of the mobile clinic visit, additional information was requested by several participants concerning elevated blood sugar levels and Gema and I are now planning to facilitate a brief question and answer forum on this topic with one of our Creighton physician volunteers in the future.

I have been in contact with Dr. Zinn to look at the possibility of the mobile clinic returning to a different Families in Action site in the Fall. Both Gema and I welcome additional partnerships and programs to continue serving our community in South Omaha.

Virginia McGill and Gema Wolde, Interfaith and Families in Action

Photo from the Creighton Zumbathon with Tri Delta

Zumbathon!!!!

This Friday the 11th we will be hosting another Zumbathon!!!!!  It will take place on the Creighton University Campus in the Kiewit Fitness Center located on 24th and Cass Street.  We will begin at 5:30 and dance until 7:00!! The cost is $5 to participate and childcare will be provided.  Thank you so much for your support and we will see you tomorrow night!!

Congratulations to Virginia!!

Recently Virginia McGill won the Award for Latino Partner of the Year!!!

This award recognizes a non Latino(a)/Hispanic individual or business who has exhibited outstanding leadership in improving the lives of Latinos/Hispanics in Nebraska.

Congratulations and a huge Thank You to Virginia for all she has done!!!!

  • More info

    Families in Action - Omaha is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

    Donations are tax-deductible, and can be submitted online or sent to:
    Interfaith Health Service
    1326 S 26th St
    Omaha, NE 68105
    402-660-2652


    Families in Action can be found online at:

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