Our hearts go out to the many nonprofits in our community that have felt the enormous burden brought on by COVID. We’re at the point now where it’s almost been a full year of restrictions and shut-downs that have forced organizations to either cancel, postpone, or reinvent their programs and fundraisers online. In addition to financial strain, these nonprofits have also suffered losses in their volunteer count. It’s hard to watch, but we’ve also seen reassuring efforts to counteract these setbacks. Community members and organization leaders have really stepped up, shown selflessness, and gotten creative.
This became very evident through 2020’s Giving Tuesday. On December 1, the metro showed up in a big way, almost doubling giving from 2019’s Giving Tuesday. According to SHARE Omaha, $3,158,015 was given by everyday philanthropists to Omaha area nonprofits—with 32% being first-time donors and the average donation amount of $114. In addition, 28,692 items were given, including diapers, hygiene products, winter gear, canned goods, and supplies, all valued at $32,784! This is amazing.
We have all suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s even more impressive that our giving went up! We need to continue doing our part to help the community by investing in our nonprofits in any way we can. That doesn’t always mean monetary donations. There are many ways to give back and get involved, such as participating in or hosting a donation drive at your business, volunteering your skills and talents, and spreading awareness by sharing needs from nonprofits on your social media channels. We’d like recognize entities like the Omaha Community Foundation for identifying the major needs in the community and creating solutions to meet those needs. Through their COVID-19 Response Fund, the Omaha Community Foundation has raised more than $1.3 million from over 6,000 community members and distributed $1.2 million to support 51 local nonprofits addressing urgent needs. The COVID-19 Response Fund makes grants to organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare, and low-wage workers, and communities of color, among others. The following areas of need are the focus of this fund: food support, healthcare, emergency housing, emergency financial assistance, and seniors. To learn more and give to the response fund, visit omahafoundation.org/community/covid-19-response-fund.
At Strictly Business, we believe it is so important to support our local nonprofits. Not only do local nonprofits help enrich Nebraskan life, but they also create jobs and give workers, volunteers, and donors alike a connection to something greater than themselves. Nebraska’s nonprofit sector provides about 10% of private sector jobs in our state. When we pitch in to help nonprofits, we’re helping our communities and neighbors and keeping a culture of humanity, art, and philanthropy alive.
Nebraska’s nonprofits do whatever they can to make our beautiful state an even better place to live, and so we also want to bring awareness to their efforts. Our Supporting Nonprofits feature is a place to recognize some of these amazing organizations and the work they’re doing locally. Readers should keep these nonprofits in mind when they’re choosing to give back to Omaha this year. Whether you choose to donate your own time or to give back through your business, supporting any of these nonprofits will have positive ripple effects in the lives of fellow Nebraskans.
We have compiled a list of excellent nonprofits, all of which need and welcome your support, and encourage you to get involved with these organizations!
The American Heart Association (www.heart.org/Omaha) is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives—devoted to saving people from two of the nation’s top killers: heart disease (No. 1) and stroke (No. 5).
Powered by millions of volunteers, global and local collaborators, their goal is equitably increase worldwide healthy life expectancy from 64 to at least 67 years by 2030.
Through events right here in Omaha like the Heart Walk, Go Red for Women, and Heart Ball, the American Heart Association is making an impact. For more information, visit www.heart.org/Omaha.
Through a growing grassroots network of volunteers who hail from every corner or the state, Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF, NebraskaHometown.org) unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving, and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.
Headquartered in Lincoln with employees working from hometowns all across the state, Nebraska Community Foundation provides financial management, strategic development, donor education, and training in partnership with 1,500 volunteers serving 270 Nebraska communities. In the last five years, 45,313 contributions were made to NCF and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, NCF has reinvested $393.1 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org or call (402) 323-7330.
CenterPointe (www.centerpointe.org) offers a broad continuum of care with more than 35 programs in Omaha and Lincoln in the areas of crisis response, treatment, rehabilitation, housing, and peer support. By treating the whole person, mental health, physical health, and addiction can be addressed together in real time. Since its start in 1973 under the name Full Circle by Lincoln Lancaster Drug Projects, CenterPointe has been a leader in holistic healthcare. Housing was added in the 1990s. As more programs are added to address the individual more holistically, more and more men, women, teens, and veterans are able to take steps on their journey toward a healthier life. The majority of CenterPointe consumers experience both severe and persistent mental illness and addiction issues. Nearly every individual CenterPointe serves has very low or no income when they enter our programs. CenterPointe’s mission is to help those they serve get better, sooner, for longer. Learn more online at www.centerpointe.org or by calling (402) 475-8717.
Embracing God’s call, Mosaic (www.mosaicinfo.org/locations/nebraska/omaha) in Omaha relentlessly pursues opportunities to empower people. Even in this pandemic, they’ve not only worked to keep people safe and healthy, they’ve found creative ways to keep people engaged and active.
As a whole-person healthcare organization, Mosaic knows the importance of looking at all areas of a person’s life to help them experience optimal health. Thanks to their dedicated employees and contractors, the nearly 250 people we serve have continued to learn new skills, engage in safe outdoor activities and virtual visits with family and friends, and participate in virtual worship if they chose to.
You’re invited to learn more about Mosaic by attending one of their virtual Discover the Possibilities events. There, you’ll hear personal stories of those we serve told by the people closest to them. Contact Kara Covrig to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mosaicinfo.org/locations/nebraska/omaha.
The Hope Center for Kids (hopecenterforkids.com) started with a vision in the heart of a father who saw the need for hope in the lives of kids who could not see beyond their circumstances. Today, 22 years after the late Pastor Ty Schenzel opened the doors, The Hope is home to multiple learning spaces, a commercial kitchen and cafeteria, basketball gym, the Hope Skate roller rink, COX STEM Lab and more.
Youth ages 5–19 are offered identity-based programming and a safe place to play and grow. High school students also have the opportunity to apply and interview for The Hope Employment & Learning Academy, a program that prepares youth for successful employment.
Join The Hope vision to help give kids in North Omaha the support to graduate from high school and develop a plan for the future, while experiencing the love of Jesus. Go to hopecenterforkids.com or call (402) 341-4673.
The mission of the Nebraska Safety Council (nesafetycouncil.org) is simple: For more than 60 years, they have provided education and leadership to empower people to live safe and healthy. The Nebraska Safety Council’s comprehensive programs, training courses, events, and services are designed to improve employee care at a desk, on the production floor, behind the wheel, and off the job. Their unique Worker 360° approach provides integrated risk management to improve overall worker quality of life and positively impact an organization’s bottom line.
Members of the Nebraska Safety Council include organizations throughout Nebraska and surrounding areas, across a variety of industries. There is no one-size-fits-all option. Each company’s safety and well-being program is customized for their needs and size.
Demonstrate your commitment to employee safety and health by becoming a member of the Nebraska Safety Council. You will receive access to training, guidance, and resources to establish or enhance your safety and wellness programs and policies.
The Nebraska Safety Council provides leadership and resources for a safe and healthy workplace and community. To reach their team, call (402) 483-2511 or visit nesafetycouncil.org to learn more.
The First Responders Foundation (www.firstrespondersfoundation.org) is a social impact organization that directly supports first responders, veterans, and their families. First responders put their lives on the line for us every day to save and protect the people of our community. The mission of the First Responders Foundation is to serve and honor all our first responders, veterans, and their families; build appreciation and respect for their work; and enhance public safety.
Programming includes: The First Responders Support Team (FRST)— mental and emotional well-being programs and support groups, both in person and via telehealth; Physical Health/Fitness classes and nutritional classes and services; Awards of Excellence Scholarships for first responders children; Appreciation Lunches for first responders; JAVELAN—service dogs for first responders and veterans; Home Safety Program providing smoke/carbon monoxide detectors; Tri County Fire Corps program for youth; Supporting Officers on 4 Legs—K-9, Mounted Patrol & Alley the Arson Dog. Major events: 9/11 Luncheon of Honor and Guns & Hoses Boxing Challenge.
Your financial gifts to the First Responders Foundation help provide programs for local first responders and the community. For information or to volunteer, contact Jodi Teal at email@example.com / (402) 218-1234 or visit www.firstrespondersfoundation.org.
Angels Among Us (www.myangelsamongus.org) provides financial assistance to families whose children are battling pediatric cancer. Any family living in or being treated in Nebraska is eligible to apply. Once approved, families are provided with $500 a month for the length of their entire treatment plan, up to three years, to help them stay financially stable during treatment. Funds are paid directly to the creditor, which ensures that funds are used for their intended purpose. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, a family’s life as they know it comes to an abrupt halt. Unfortunately, their monthly expenses do not. Since 2006, Angels Among Us has assisted over 500 families with over $2.7 million in support.
There are angels among us. Will you be one? Gifts of any amount are welcome and encouraged. There is strength in numbers. There is also hope, help, and monetary relief. For more information, contact Angels Among Us at (402) 934-0999 or visit the website at www.myangelsamongus.org.
What began as a mother’s wish to offer a playful respite for her daughter fighting brain cancer has now become a movement to reclaim the innocence and playfulness of childhood for those threatened by the realities of their medical conditions. Bags of Fun (bagsoffun.org) are an essential tool that brings the power of play and distraction from pain into the lives of children fighting a life-threatening illness. Each bag of happiness is individually crafted to provide joy, laughter, and relief to children in the fight of their lives—inspiring pediatric patients to be kids and play while they struggle through tough treatments.
It was Gabby Krause’s wish that every child at the hospital could have their own Bag of Fun, and it is an honor to carry out her wish! Bringing a sense of normalcy, especially during these times, is something everyone could benefit from.
Since beginning in Omaha in September 2019, Bags of Fun has delivered over 130 Bags of Fun to kids! The nonprofit is excited for what the future has to hold, especially with the immense support they have already experienced in the community. “The body cannot heal without PLAY, the mind cannot heal without LAUGHTER, the heart cannot heal without COMMUNITY.” Visit bagsoffun.org to learn more about the Bags of Fun mission.
NALA (nalarescue.org) is a 100% volunteer-based organization steadfast in its commitment to changing the way society thinks about animals, animal rescues, and the impact animals have on humans. They strive to match homeless animals with people who can provide loving homes where both will enjoy the benefits of this companionship.
NALA provides all vaccinations, heartworm testing, spays/neuters, and microchipping. From rehoming healthy felines and canines to caring for the sickest of the sick, NALA is there! Besides routine care, they do so much more such as bottle-feeding newborns, treating illnesses like parvo, distemper, heartworm, ringworm, surgeries, and behavior training/support.
In addition to monetary donations, NALA needs foster homes, event volunteers, transporters, etc. They need it all! They hope that someday there will not be a need for their animal services for the sick, neglected, abused, and unwanted, but until that day, NALA will be there with open homes, hearts, and arms. To learn more, visit nalarescue.org.
Open Door Mission (www.opendoormission.org) is a Gospel Rescue Mission founded in 1954 committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Each day, Open Door Mission’s campus offers 917 safe shelter beds to homeless men, women, and children; serves over 4,747 nutritious meals; and provides homeless preventive measures to more than 1,000 people living in poverty.
Visit www.opendoormission.org or call (402) 422-1111 to see how you can make a difference in the community.
Founded in 1984, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha (habitatomaha.org) is a grassroots organization that builds and renovates houses, forges community partnerships and breaks down barriers. Service areas include Burt County, Cass County, Omaha, Sarpy County, and Washington County.
Habitat Omaha homebuyers complete up to 275 hours of sweat equity before purchasing their homes through 30-year affordable mortgages. Their Home Improvement Programs help community members maintain their homes through 0% interest loans and grant-funded, no-cost services.
Omaha’s two Habitat ReStores, 1003 S 24th St. and 10910 Emmet St., accept donations of new, used and surplus building materials and home fixtures. These donated items are then sold to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Net proceeds help build additional Habitat Omaha homes.
Habitat Omaha relies on funds from local businesses, individuals, and organizations. Support from the local community is essential! Learn more about their work at habitatomaha.org.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease where a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to get energy from food. T1D strikes children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet or exercise; at present, there is no cure. JDRF (jdrf.org/nebraskaiowa) works every day to change this reality. As the largest global funder of T1D research, the mission of JDRF is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. You can help make a difference by participating, volunteering, or fundraising.
- JDRF Gala – April 17, 2021
- JDRF TypeOneNation Summit – Spring 2021
- JDRF One Walk – October 3, 2021
- Advocacy – Advocate for government support of research and policies for affordable and accessible therapies.
- Support/Networking Groups (virtual until further notice)
- JDRF T1D Talk – Connecting the T1D community – individuals and families, 2nd Tuesday of every month
- Empower1 – Connecting the adolescent T1D community, 2nd Thursday of every month
- Give Back at School – School education and fundraising opportunities.
- Outreach – Resources and events for individuals and families
- Ride – Destination cycling experience for all fitness levels
- YLC – Young professionals raising awareness and funds for T1D.
Learn more at jdrf.org/nebraskaiowa or (402) 397-2873.
People living with vision loss get the skills and resources they need to lead independent, fully engaged lives from the Outlook Enrichment (outlooken.org/donate) programs you fund. Using computers and smartphones without vision becomes easy with technology training from Outlook. Recreational, cultural, and social activities become possible again with a few adaptations. Those new to vision loss—whether their own or a loved one’s—find practical and emotional support from Outlook during their transition.
Outlook Enrichment’s mission is to create opportunities for people living with vision loss to achieve personal and professional growth in an inclusive community. They help their neighbors living with vision loss and blindness live life independently, confidently engage in their communities, and continue to do the things they love.
Your gifts help Outlook Enrichment change the outcomes for people living with vision loss and blindness. Help them celebrate that there is vision beyond sight for each of them. Easily make a donation at outlooken.org/donate.
Vision Maker Media (visionmakermedia.org) is a nonprofit established in 1976 with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Nebraska Educational Television (NET). Their mission is to empower and engage Native people to share stories. They envision a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. What began as a film archive to conserve and document Native American stories, transformed into the nation’s leader in content by and about Indigenous people for public broadcasting.
Vision Maker Media works with Native producers to develop, produce, and distribute programs to educate audiences. They empower Native youth to grow up with stories that represent their backgrounds and with figures that embody their culture. The organization generates important public conversations about present-day Native issues and shed a long-overdue light on the foundation of American history through Native American stories. Their audience reach is more than 165,000 worldwide. To learn more, visit visionmakermedia.org or call (402) 472-3522.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands (BBBSM, bbbsomaha.org) is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Big Brothers Big Sisters strives for all youth in the program to reach their full potential. A Big Brother, Big Sister, or Big Couple provides youth with a sense of safety and security, emotional support, and social skill promotion. Bigs and Littles are matched based on common interests so they can have the benefit of doing activities together that they both enjoy. With a Big by their side, more Littles are discovering who they are and what they can achieve in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters is working to clear the path for youth’s biggest possible futures.
As January is National Mentoring Month, with January 17 being National Mentoring Day, BBBSM hopes to bring in many more mentors during this time. Launched in 2002 by MENTOR National and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities, and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people. This campaign celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. To learn about how to become a Big, make a donation, or other ways to get involved, go to bbbsomaha.org or follow on social media.
Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue (savinggracefoodrescue.org) provides a unique service in the Omaha area by operating the only perishable food rescue dedicated to feeding the hungry with nutritious surplus food that otherwise would go to waste. Since operations began on September 30, 2013, Saving Grace has rescued more than 5 million pounds of food. Using refrigerated trucks, professional drivers/food handlers pick up produce, meats, dairy products, packaged and prepared meals, and other healthy foods from a network of regularly scheduled and on-call food donors. This food is delivered the same day—free of charge—to nonprofit partner agencies, including food pantries, shelters, transitional living facilities, children’s centers, senior centers, and clinics.
Saving Grace addresses a real need, as one in seven people in our community struggle with food insecurity, while food is the largest contributor to landfill waste. For more information, visit savinggracefoodrescue.org and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Incorporated in 2002, the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM, www.nonprofitam.org) started with the goal of helping nonprofits help their communities. CEO Anne Hindery has led the organization since 2008. “We serve and strengthen more than 650 nonprofits of all sizes and missions in Nebraska and western Iowa. By connecting organizations with information, education, advocacy, and collaboration, we help our members representing health and human services, the arts, education and other areas make an impact in the communities they serve,” Hindery said.
NAM’s signature Guidelines and Principles Program (nonprofitam.org/GuidelinesandPrinciples) provides legal compliance and best practices information in 12 major areas of nonprofit management: communication, evaluation, financial management, fundraising, governance, human resources, information technology, planning, public policy and advocacy, strategic alliances, transparency and accountability, and volunteer management. The National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofits, recognizes NAM as the state association for Nebraska. Learn more about NAM at www.nonprofitam.org or call (402) 557-5800.
Wear Yellow Nebraska (WearYellowNebraska.org) provides service, support, and community for Nebraska’s cancer survivors. Their purpose, from the very beginning, is to bring together people passionate about cycling, celebrating life, and being an advocate in the fight against cancer. Since the organization’s beginning days, Wear Yellow Nebraska has continued to grow and cultivate their mission and vision. In 2012, they launched a free transportation program, which has directed more than $200,000 dollars in providing more than 12,500 cab rides to cancer patients in need.
The Wear Yellow Cab Ride program, Powered by Lyft, is the primary initiative of the organization and is funded by their signature event, the Wear Yellow Ride, Fun Run & Walk. Transportation to and from treatment is essential because patients are often unable to drive themselves, which also leaves them vulnerable to additional medical challenges. Even when patients have family and friends who can help, they are not always available and sometimes they just don’t want to ask for one more thing.
Wear Yellow Nebraska touches lives in Lincoln, Omaha, and Fremont—help them keep growing! Learn more online at WearYellowNebraska.org.
Established in 1972, Santa Monica House (www.santamonicahouse.org) has been providing long-term residential services to thousands of chemically-dependent women, partnering with them on their journey to recovery. The program relies on the disciplines of the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous® while incorporating mental health and trauma treatment along with life skills. Santa Monica provides food, shelter, rehabilitative counseling, job acquisition guidance, and re-socialization training. Santa Monica provides a halfway house program, followed by a three-quarters way house program and transitional apartment living. This approach to step-down levels of care for the women provides a more holistic continuum of care. These services will give the women more support as they transition back into the community. Donations are always valued at Santa Monica and the women benefit from toiletries, clothing, and paper products.
Visit Santa Monica’s new website at www.santamonicahouse.org for more information about the agency, what the future holds, and how to help.
Since 1989, Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy’s (HETRA, www.HETRA.org) mission has been to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children of all ability levels through Equine-Assisted activities. Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, Carriage Driving, Life Skills, Veterans, and Equine Facilitated Learning programs are at the heart of HETRA’s services. As the only Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl.) Accredited facility in Nebraska, HETRA employs occupational, mental health, and physical therapists and 16 PATH Intl. Certified Riding Instructors.
Today, despite the obstacles, burdens, and challenges presented by the current COVID-19 Crisis, HETRA continues its 31+ years of dedication and commitment to its participants with the help of over 250 dedicated volunteers who donate over 26,000 hours annually. HETRA offers year-round programming, works with a herd of over 20 horses, and is situated on 25 beautiful acres in Gretna. Learn more at www.HETRA.org or call (402) 359-8830.
The mission of the Jennie Edmundson (JE) Foundation (www.jehfoundation.org) is to improve the quality of life by caring for the body and mind. Jennie Edmundson Foundation is the fundraising arm of Methodist Jennie Edmundson (MJE) Hospital. By engaging philanthropic leaders, they are able to help make certain that the equipment, facilities, programs, services, and educational initiatives at JE continue to meet community needs.
The JE Foundation relies on donations and grants from the community. These funds help their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, Cancer Center, Cardiac Center, Women’s Services, Charitable Patient Care Fund, Medi-Bus Transportation, and Scholarship Funds, to name a few. Generous contributions provide care, education and services to many who may not otherwise have access to healthcare services. Individual or planned gifts, memorials, or becoming an event, corporate sponsor or year-end donor are also a few ways to help.
Becoming a JE Adult Volunteer gives you the opportunity to be involved in many facets of volunteerism. It is a wonderful way to meet new people, develop new skills and interests, and be rewarded through the experiences of helping patients, family members, and hospital staff.
To find out more about the Jennie Edmundson Foundation and how you can get involved, call (712) 396-6040 or visit www.jehfoundation.org.
FAMILY, Inc. (www.familyia.org) is an early childhood and public health organization with a mission for empowering families to build a strong foundation and healthy future through education, advocacy, support, and community connection. When parents are empowered and children have the nurturing and support they need, their chances of positively contributing to society as an adult increase.
FAMILY, Inc. provides the right supports and services for each child at the earliest stages of development, prenatally through age five, preparing children to enter school ready to learn. Through early developmental assessment, oral health education, and screening, support to pregnant moms, parenting home visits, care coordination, connections to hawki health insurance, fostering informal support networks, and more, FAMILY, Inc. partners with each family leading to more successful outcomes decades later. What better investment for the future can a community make?
OHB (Omaha Home for Boys, OHB.org) has been transforming lives and strengthening communities for 100 years! What began as a home for wayward and neglected boys has grown to an organization serving more than 1,300 youth, young adults, children, and families annually.
OHB’s continuum of care is aimed at empowering individuals and families with the skills and confidence needed to transition from a state of crisis to one of safety and growth. OHB’s programs focus on helping clients achieve self-sufficiency and offer support in the areas of basic life skills, education, employment, housing, transportation, and behavioral and mental health.
As OHB enters its next century, the organization’s commitment to adapt and grow to meet the ever-changing needs of the community continues, thanks to supporters like you. “Together, we can transform a life and strengthen our community!” Learn more at OHB.org or call (402) 457-7000.
Child Saving Institute (CSI, childsaving.org) focuses on the prevention, intervention and healing of childhood trauma, neglect and abuse. Since its beginning more than 128 years ago, CSI’s primary focus has always been children’s safety and well-being. As an innovative leader in children’s services, CSI’s programs include an Emergency Shelter for youth in crisis, quality Early Childhood Education, consultation services for low-income child care centers, Foster Care, foster parent training, Therapy, In Home Services for struggling families, Pediatric Social Work services in low-income medical clinics, Independent Living Skills education for youth aging out of the foster care system, free parenting workshops, and older child adoption. The agency also operates the Triage Center at Project Harmony, providing a comfortable environment, food, and fresh clothing to children who have been abruptly removed from their homes in crisis.
CSI’s programs are diverse, but so are the needs of today’s children and youth. With your support and the support of others like you, CSI serves more than 2,800 kids and families each year and touches thousands more, improving the lives of children in our community—helping them discover the joy of childhood that every child should experience. For more information, follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; visit childsaving.org; or call (402) 553-6000.
Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance (OHKA, omahahealthykids.org) is a children’s environmental health nonprofit seeking to improve children’s health through healthy homes. Their main goal is to bring awareness and education to families in the city about environmental hazards like asthma and lead poisoning, and how homes can impact health. OHKA believes that education is fundamental for empowering people and creating change. They strive to create environmental equality in Omaha for all by offering education on health hazards in the home, tenant legal rights, environmental testing, and information on the community resources available in the city.
Call the OHKA office at (402) 934-9700 or visit omahahealthykids.org to see how OHKA can help improve the health of your home!
Life-changing care…right in your own backyard. Join Boys Town (www.boystown.org) in the business of saving kids and healing families!
For more than 100 years, Boys Town has been serving local communities, both as a good neighbor and a provider of high-quality care and treatment programs. They’ve always taken great pride in being right here when kids and families need them, whether that’s for a child in need of a stable home or a parent looking for a trusted pediatrician for their child.
That’s why the partnership and support of local businesses is so valuable to their mission. Learn more about how you can help Boys Town expand its services so more people in need can experience hope and healing. Call (531) 355-1300, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online to www.boystown.org.
Many people know Goodwill Industries, Inc. (GoodwillOmaha.org), Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, as a place to donate used clothing and household items or find great bargains, but you might not know the mission at the heart of our organization: The Goodwill provides job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other disadvantages.
The sale of donated items sold in Goodwill retail stores supports mission programs. Here’s how: People in the community donate gently used items to Goodwill. The Goodwill sells those donated items in Goodwill retail stores. The proceeds from those sales subsidize mission programs, giving thousands of individuals in the Omaha area the chance to earn a living, discover independence, and succeed in life.
Goodwill provides opportunities through a variety of employment programs, including YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Employment Solutions, and Work Experience. Goodwill is also affiliated with the federal AbilityOne program, which provides jobs at federal facilities to people with severe disabilities.
Goodwill is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency governed by a local board of trustees. It is a member agency of Goodwill Industries International of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
For more information about Goodwill’s programs and the 18 convenient locations in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Gretna, and Council Bluffs, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org.
The mission of the American Red Cross (redcross.org) is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters from home fires to major events such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes. About 40% of the nation’s blood needed by patients is supplied by the Red Cross. The organization teaches skills such as CPR and First Aid that save lives. Additionally, the Red Cross provides international humanitarian aid and supports military members, veterans, and their families.
Every day, the American Red Cross is active in the community, serving those in need. Visit redcross.org or call 1-(800) RED-CROSS to support Red Cross efforts by volunteering, donating financially or giving blood.
For over 20 years, Domesti-PUPS (www.domesti-pups.org) has been supporting people in our local, regional, and national communities through the assistance of animals. From therapy dogs in the classroom motivating children to pet therapy visitations in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living centers, Domesti-PUPS pet therapy teams bring a bit of brightness through their furry encounters. The organization’s service dog teams provide increased independence when paired with a disabled partner. These highly-skilled canines can turn on lights, provide balance and mobility, retrieve dropped items, bring a bottle of water from a refrigerator, respond to medical emergencies such as a seizure or a diabetic high or low, and open doors both literally and figuratively. Some even provide life-saving measures for their disabled partners. Learn more online at www.domesti-pups.org.
With Best Care EAP (www.bestcareeap.org) as a business partner, you can provide support to help employees focus on their jobs when problems in their personal lives get overwhelming. Best Care EAP provides a wide variety of wellness and online services that will boost your employees’ productivity and morale. All of their services can be tailored to meet the individual needs of your company.
Professional development opportunities—Best Care EAP offers over 100 training programs in areas of management/leadership, physical/mental well-being, team development and professional/personal growth – all offering the flexibility to be offered at your worksite, virtually or pre-recorded. Customized training options available to you based on your organization’s needs.
Counseling for a wide variety of issues, concerns, and stressors—Their licensed counselors provide one-on-one, couple, and family counseling close to your work or home, plus telehealth options.
Professional help coping with a critical situation—For over 40 years, Best Care EAP has provided immediate support for members during times of crisis. Whether caused by an unexpected injury or death, crime, or environmental/societal impact, Best Care EAP is available to you and your employees with immediate support following a critical incident.
Kids Can Community Center’s (KidsCan.org) mission is to educate, engage, and inspire children through early childhood care and out-of-school experiences. Kids Can serves children ages 18 months to 13 years old. They offer a variety of programs including early childhood education, before- and after-school programs, summer and non-school day programs, tutoring, and mentoring. Kids Can utilizes the Creative Curriculum and Handwriting Without Tears activities for their youngest students with the goal of ensuring all students are prepared to enter Kindergarten. School-age children participate in the STEMsmart Academy which focuses on science, technology, engineering, math, strength, music, art, reading, and tutoring supporting well-rounded children.
Founded in 1908 as Social Settlement Association of Omaha, Kids Can has a long history of making a meaningful impact in the community. Kids Can is located on 49th and Q Streets in Omaha.
RISE (www.seeusrise.org) is an innovative “inside-out” program serving incarcerated people through an intensive six-month reentry class inside seven Nebraska state prisons. Additionally, RISE provides reentry services to released program graduates.
In-prison programming focuses on character development, job readiness, reentry planning, and entrepreneurship. Reentry programming includes case management, employment aid, transportation, housing support, mental health, and substance abuse resources, and help obtaining basic needs for returning citizens.
RISE’s vision is that all people find freedom from cycles of incarceration. When people reenter society well and are supported by the community, public safety increases, people can begin to build wealth for their families, maintain healthy relationships, and break the cycles of incarceration.
You can make a direct impact on your community with RISE through volunteering at RISE in-prison events, reviewing program participant resumes online, becoming a RISE Reentry Mentor, volunteering with our policy and advocacy team, and through financial support. To learn more, visit www.seeusrise.org or call (402) 999-8063.
Located in South Omaha, Stephen Center (stephencenter.org) partners with the community, families, and individuals to overcome homelessness, addiction, and poverty. Approximately 250 people call Stephen Center home each day through three programs on a sober campus. The Pettigrew Emergency Shelter serves men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. The HERO Program (Health, Empowerment, Responsibility, and Opportunity) is a nationally-accredited, state-licensed substance abuse treatment, and mental health services program providing substance abuse evaluations, in patient services, and intensive outpatient treatment. The third program is Permanent Supportive Housing apartments. These apartments provide affordable housing for those that meet income and disability qualifications. All Stephen Center clients have the support of case managers who assist them with the identification of barriers impeding self-sufficiency. Volunteers play a huge role in Stephen Center’s mission, impacting client lives every day! For more information, visit stephencenter.org or follow on Facebook (@stephencenteromaha).
The mission of Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC, www.midlandslatinocdc.org) is to provide low- and moderate-income individuals and families with opportunities and tools to achieve financial stability through entrepreneurship.
MLCDC is a nonprofit organization that focuses on teaching Latinos and refugees leadership skills to create diverse and inclusive businesses. MLCDC focuses on enhancing the life of individuals in the Midlands while reducing poverty and increasing economic growth in local communities.
MLCDC’s programs and services are provided in Spanish, English, and Arabic and cover areas of financial stability, industry training, entrepreneurship and leadership, and lending. The lending program provides business loans to entrepreneurs that are unable to secure capital from financial institutions to start or expand their businesses.
During 2020, MLCDC has benefited more than 200 families and impacted more than 500 individuals in Omaha, Lincoln, and Council Bluffs through financial education and business planning, enabling successful entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit www.midlandslatinocdc.org or call (402) 933-4466.
Founded in 1986, the Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation (plvschoolsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works closely with Papillion La Vista Community Schools (PLCS) to enhance educational opportunities for students and staff by offering opportunities and programs that otherwise would not be possible if only tax dollars were available. Close ties with PLCS District and surrounding community ensure that the best ideas to support students, teachers, technology, and programs become a reality.
The Foundation upholds this mission by reaching out to staff, parents, alumni, and the community to create financial and supportive resources needed to augment the overall educational experience for Papillion La Vista Community Schools. Immediate and endowed support is provided by donors, alumni, and parents through the Foundation to ensure these opportunities and programs will be available to the District for generations.
To learn more about the Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation, visit plvschoolsfoundation.org or call (402) 829-1340.
The Malone Community Center (MaloneCenter.org) was founded in 1955 through a reorganization of the Lincoln Urban league. Initially founded during a time in history when civil rights for African Americans were extremely limited, the league founders, both black and white, were determined to improve social and economic conditions and increase understanding between all races. They believed that enhanced understanding between all groups of people would create a better community.
For decades, the Malone Center has served neighboring families, youth, seniors, and the Lincoln community through programs and initiatives that extend well beyond the community center to uphold their mission to end multigenerational poverty. Their holistic community programming reflects their commitment to advancing equality through education, health initiatives, community outreach, advocacy, and leadership development.
For more information about the Malone Community Center, please visit MaloneCenter.org or call (402) 474-1110.
Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP, www.encapnebraska.org) is a nonprofit community based organization that has been providing social and human services to people facing poverty since 1965. Last year, ENCAP provided more than 32,000 services to 14,407 people living in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. ENCAP is a member of a national network of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies dedicated to providing programming that meets community needs, that responds to the voices of the low-income community, and that demonstrates continuous quality improvement. ENCAP’s service areas include: Emergency rent and utility assistance, family well-being via community response, senior well-being, hunger relief (via Omaha and Bellevue Food Pantries) transportation For more information, please visit www.encapnebraska.org.
The YMCA of Greater Omaha (www.metroymca.org/give) is dedicated to building healthy, confident, and connected communities through recreation and personal growth while fostering environments that encourage youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. With 10 branch locations, the YMCA provides easy access to youth and adult sports, aquatics, wellness centers, early learning and healthy living centers, group fitness classes, and so much more.
The Strong Communities campaign raises $800,000 every year in donations, helping the YMCA provide $2.3 million in charitable programming, providing memberships and access to those who might not otherwise be able to participate. Over 24,000 Omaha children participate in YMCA youth sports programs, 2,000 kids enjoy summer day camps, 10,000 people have learned lifesaving swim safety education and instruction, and nearly 64,000 families and individuals call the YMCA of Greater Omaha their choice for a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on the YMCA of Greater Omaha and the Strong Communities campaign, visit www.metroymca.org/give.
NAMI Omaha is a nonprofit corporation composed of peers, family members, professionals, and friends who have come together to share and take comfort in the commonality of their experiences and to educate members of their communities about serious mental illness. NAMI Omaha actively advocates at the local, state, and national levels to improve the services and the lives of those affected by mental illness and their families.
NAMI Omaha offers periodic classes of one of NAMI’s signature programs, including their Family to Family 12-week evidence-based educational course for family, significant others, and friends of people with mental health conditions.
NAMI Omaha also offers support groups for both peers, family, significant others, and friends of people with mental health conditions. The Connections support groups is another NAMI signature program and offers support for peers with mental health conditions.
NAMI Omaha also hosts monthly affiliate meetings where speakers are invited to speak about current mental health issues in the community, including active state legislature bills, mental health services, alternative forms of mental health treatment, etc.
For additional information, go to www.namiomaha.org or call (402) 345-8101 / (877) 463-6264. For additional information on NAMI Omaha and other helpful articles on mental illness topics, please follow/like on Facebook (@NAMIOmaha).
At the Heartland Hope Mission (heartlandhopemission.org) South Omaha and Millard food pantries, working poor families choose a week’s supply of nutritious groceries including milk, frozen meat, and fresh produce to prepare well-balanced meals at home. However, Heartland Hope Mission is more than a pantry. Clients also receive clothing, hygiene items, diapers, and access to a Client Service Specialist who assists with SNAP (food stamp) applications and navigational services. The Mission’s Jobs Paths Program provides access to current job postings and on-site interviews with employers. The goal is to provide programming and wraparound services to prevent families from becoming homeless and to help people achieve or rebuild self-sufficiency. Due to COVID-19, Heartland Hope Mission is now serving almost double the amount of families compared to last year. Learn more at heartlandhopemission.org or call (402) 733-1904.
Youth Emergency Services (YES, www.yesomaha.org) is the only nonprofit in Omaha with the sole mission to help youth experiencing homelessness and near-homelessness in the community. Last year, YES provided support and services to more than 3,000 youth in the Omaha metro. YES also provided 7,106 meals to youth through their Street Outreach Center. Many of these youth have been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused, making it unsafe for them to return home. Without YES, these vulnerable young people cannot succeed independently.
YES offers a full continuum of care to ensure all youth receive the support they need, no matter their situation. This includes the Street Outreach Center, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living Program, Maternity Group Home, and a new program for 2020, Rapid Rehousing. Through these programs, YES offers case management, job readiness classes, group activities, support for the LGBTQ+ community, and specialized services for trafficked survivors. To ensure youth are successful once they leave their care, YES requires the youth in their program to set short- and long-term goals; be enrolled in school; have a job, or both; and do community service. For more information about YES’ programs, please visit www.yesomaha.org or call (402) 345-5187. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Did you know…Midlands Community Foundation (MCF, www.midlandscommunity.org) helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals and “Invest in the Power of Community.”
MCF plays an integral part in the community by serving Sarpy and Cass counties in the area of health care, arts, culture, community, economic development, education, and human services. For example, MCF:
- Helps provide shelter for the homeless and stocks shelves at the local food banks;
- Underwrites scholarships for college-bound students;
- Maintains and supports local libraries;
- Updates parks and recreational areas;
- Provides new technology for schools and nonprofit organizations;
- Treats school children to educational field trips; and
- Supports and assists in emergency disaster relief for affected victims.
In addition, MCF manages 150 charitable funds that serve an array of needs. This past year, more than $1.3 million has been distributed into the community through these charitable funds, MCF grants, and discretionary gifts.
To learn more, visit www.midlandscommunity.org or call (402) 991-8027.