The Broom Man Project

$13,720 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 279 people in 32 months
David Jensen
for Downtown Omaha Inc Foundation
The purpose of this effort is to raise funds to create a Bronze Sculpture to keep the memory alive of an Omaha Icon, The Reverend Livingston Wills - known to many as The Broom Man.

The project was launched on October 5th, 2016 at a press conference held at the Douglas County Courthouse in down town Omaha. The goal of the project is to raise $100,000 to fund a life size bronze sculpture of “The Broom Man” designed and cast by a local artist, John Lajba.

The "Rev", as people affectionately called him, passed away in 2008. He was 91 years old and though legally blind, sold brooms door to door until he was 88 years old. Over the years the Broom Man became part of the fabric of our community with every neighborhood claiming him as one of their own.

The Reverend was a simple man, had a congregation, and was we'll educated. We have a grandson and a great grandson on our committee. Our committee discussed approaching larger donors but decided since the "Rev" was a man of the community, we would like to see this funded by the community. With the GoFundMe donations combined with those sent directly to our fiscal agent, Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, so far we have raised over $40,000 in contributions ranging from $2.00 and $5,000.00 each.

One of the Reverend's favorite scripture passages was the following found in Psalms 133:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

 "The hearts of the people of Omaha were for him," said Bernadine Jefferson, a friend of about 50 years. "I think a lot of people felt like he was part of their family. He was joyful and he had a good memory."

...Jefferson said Wills lived his life as God had instructed: "Love thy neighbor as thyself. Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you."

From the Omaha, NE. "World-Herald" Newspaper:
'Do you need a good broom?': Blind broom peddler dies at 91
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Over $40,000 donated !

Sculptor begins work!
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Sculptor, John Lajba, begins sculpting!
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Sculptor, John Lajba, anxious to begin sculpture.
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$13,720 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 279 people in 32 months
Created October 5, 2016
Funds raised will benefit:
Downtown Omaha Inc Foundation
Certified Charity
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Omaha, NE
EIN: 311752228
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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Latrina Lafleur
1 month ago

I grew up in North Omaha. Reverend Wills was always a beacon of light in my life then. Always whistling a tune, I never really knew what it was, but it was always comforting. I will always remember the kindness of the broom man.

Antoinette Hamilton
2 months ago

I bought a broom from the broom man long ago and have always admired him.

Dave Begley
2 months ago

He was an Omaha icon.

Wes Dodge
4 months ago

I think it would be great to honor a man of amazing character who modeled strength and perseverance even with a disability. He wasn't famous or egotistical. He just lived life in an amazing manner.

Linda Watson
5 months ago

I donated because the reverend was a fixture in my Dundee neighborhood. My children all remember him walking up and down Underwood Avenue. We still have a child-sized broom that we bought from him years ago!

Betty Brittenham
5 months ago

His life taught us so much.

5 months ago
Cher Klosner-Lane
5 months ago

He was a friend and I miss him. Thought I heard him whistling the other day.

Jane Lynam
6 months ago
Cheryl Benson
7 months ago

Since I was a small child I always loved this kind sweet man and I miss seeing him around the city. He was an institution and deserves this honor.

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