Although mental health conditions are extremely common, we rarely talk openly about our mental health in the way we do about our physical health. It’s time that’s changed. WhatMakesUs is a new local initiative collecting stories from community members living with mental health conditions, and their allies, to highlight what makes them who they are — not defined by a mental health condition.
Once again, the caring hearts of the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro have proven that together we can make big things happen.
In July 2020, ten community-minded local banks partnered with the common goal of providing all metro families the supplies needed for a successful school year. These institutions, including ACCESSbank, American National Bank, Bank of Bennington, Core Bank, Dundee Bank, First National Bank of Omaha, Great Western Bank, Pinnacle Bank, Security National Bank, UMB Bank and Well Fargo, led the effort to collect school supplies for a dozen organizations with the Banking on School Supplies drive.
Over the course of two weeks, boxes of supplies were delivered to bank branches and NorthStar Foundation by generous donors.
Story shared by Adrielle Griffin, Completely KIDS Chief Marketing and Development Officer
When the COVID-19 pandemic washed over the Omaha metro area in mid-March, much was unknown. Many, including those at Completely KIDS, thought they might be shut down for a week or so and then life would return to some sense of normalcy. The Completely KIDS staff realized quickly that would not be the case and jumped into action.
Completely KIDS staff began distributing 200 bags of food every Friday in partnership with Food Bank for the Heartland as a drive-up mobile pantry. But as the line of cars backed up on St. Mary’s Ave., it became evident the need was even greater.
*Note: Photos shared in this story were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restoring Dignity depends heavily on volunteers and donors to ensure refugees have a decent place to live.
Restoring Dignity brings refugee families furniture and household items to transform a living space into a home where they can thrive. Their work also includes teaching basic cleaning skills and providing critical housing advocacy for refugees.
Volunteer Jeff and Crystal Young make community service projects a family endeavor. They began pitching in on Restoring Dignity makeovers of refugee homes after seeing a call for help.
This article is the first in a new series. SHARE Omaha is pleased to collaborate with Western Iowa Development Association (WIDA) to feature rural Iowans who are doing good. Learn more about WIDA.
Though it’s a short acronym, CASA volunteers play a significant role in the lives of many in Southwest Iowa. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) do the unseen work to ensure the best interests of vulnerable youth in our community, work that deserves to be recognized.
The Southwest Iowa CASA Program recruits community volunteers to serve as a voice in court for abused and neglected children, to secure a safe, permanent and nurturing home for all. One of these dedicated volunteers is Sheila Lewis of Treynor, Iowa.
Jesi, Aaron and little Dax moved to Omaha during shutdowns due to COVID-19. Within minutes of speaking with Jesi, her generous spirit shines through. It comes as no surprise that during this time of isolation, she and her family are choosing to get to know the metro by asking, “How can we safely give back to our new community?”
The Lifting Up Do-Gooders column, written by SHARE Omaha executive director Marjorie Maas, runs bi-monthly in metroMAGAZINE. See the original publication of this article here on page 38.
Who is a Do-Gooder?
Either you are one, or you know a few. SHARE Omaha defines do-gooders as those who see a need and do good for others or the community; those who raise their hands to help when a crisis or challenge arises around them; those who regularly prioritize this good work, even in the light of personal sacrifice.
SHARE Omaha tells stories of volunteers, donors and general do-gooders regularly on our blog at SHAREomaha.org, and with this column we seek to act as a megaphone for those making our community and metro area better. These do-gooders could be individuals, businesses, families or nonprofit organizations.
SHARE Omaha acquires Share Good – a high-tech advantage for new philanthropy
SHARE Omaha announces the acquisition of Share Good LLC, a branded community engagement platform powered by web-based technology. It connects new donors and volunteers to nonprofit causes for communitywide impact on quality of life.
OMAHA, Neb. -- The acquisition of Share Good LLC by SHARE Omaha moves its proprietary community engagement software into the future of approachable philanthropy. Marjorie Maas, executive director of SHARE Omaha, sees growing demand nationwide to make giving easy and accessible. “Communities and nonprofit organizations using this platform can immediately become more inclusive. We are excited to bring Share Good to Omaha’s Silicon Prairie to push the boundaries of innovative community engagement. It is a natural fit for the amazing tech culture here,” said Maas.
Higher ed administration veteran Stephanie Kidd has found herself unemployed during the pandemic. Through this struggle, the Junior League of Omaha member has discovered meaning as a volunteer for the Heart Ministry Center pantry. She leads JLO volunteers working the 24th and Binney drive-thru on Friday mornings.
Kidd shared what the experience means to her in a Facebook post:
“Volunteering at Heart Ministry Center has been a true highlight of my spring. It feels really good to be able to provide love and support to folks who need it. I’m proud of the work we’ve done and the partnership we’re building.”
We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!