The Magic Lives On

Think back to the time in your life when you were first striking out on your own. Navigating the complexities of college applications, financial aid, transportation, budgeting, college visits, job interviews, housing and just life in general as a teen or young adult is a daunting task. This transition to independence is even more complicated without a solid support system in place.

Youth Mart is a donation center housed on Omaha Home for Boys’ main campus that aims to ease the transition to independent living for the hundreds of youth who pass through its doors every year. These teens and young adults are allowed to shop free of charge at Youth Mart for household essentials, hygiene items, clothing and furniture. The shelves at Youth Mart would be bare without the generous donations we receive from the community.

The following was written by Keenan Page, an Omaha Home for Boys’ Independent Living Specialist, when he joined Youth Mart’s Truck Brigade as they picked up donations for Youth Mart from a very generous community donor:

Marianne found out about Youth Mart through some pretty sad circumstances. Her father, who was a local magician, passed away a few weeks ago. As the time came to clean his home and go through his possessions, she found Youth Mart and decided that her dad’s things would be put to best use here.

Keenan (left) and Marianne (front center) are surrounded by Truck Brigade volunteers.

Last Friday, when Youth Mart’s Truck Brigade came rolling up, it was time for the big day. Along with the snowflakes, tears began to fall, and I could tell that this was going to be a tough one. As the minutes went by, the apartment went from full to empty. Each piece inspired a story. We learned about Marinne’s dad and all the people he impacted and the countless smiles he cultivated. She reminisced about those nights growing up where he always came home with a trick up his sleeves, or even a real live rabbit – no joke – the guy was legendary!

As we finished up, we talked about how each item had been given a new life on this day, and through that, her dad is still impacting the world he has now left behind. I told her about one of my clients, Jessica, who with her baby boy will have thousands of meals on her dad’s kitchen table and how her son’s birth certificate, medical records and one day fingerpaint projects and even his diploma will go in the file cabinets Marianne’s dad used to keep his library of tricks in. Marianne smiled knowing her dad wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Now if you ask me, that’s pretty magical.

Be a Part of the Magic


Youth Mart accepts and greatly appreciates donated household essentials, hygiene items, cleaning products, clothing for young adults (ages 14 to 24), baby and toddler essentials and clothing, and furniture. Items can be dropped off at:

Youth Mart
4343 N 52nd Street
Omaha, NE  68104
Located on the east side of the Omaha Home for Boys’ campus

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday – noon to 5 p.m.
Friday – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It is recommended that you call Youth Mart at 402.457.7002 prior to dropping off donations.


Call Youth Mart at 402.457.7002 or email Lisa Frye at lfrye@omahahomeforboys.org to schedule Truck Brigade to pick up your donations.


Join Truck Brigade volunteers who pick up donations from the community and deliver items to youth. Truck Brigade runs every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and we have roles for all skill sets and time commitments. Call Youth Mart at 402.457.7002 or email Lisa Frye at lfrye@omahahomeforboys.org to volunteer.