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June 2019 Issue

From the Executive Director:
The Flood Waters Have Receded. We Need to Advance.


MOEC Updates Vision, Creates Stronger Impact on Student Success


Fundraising Course Connects and Inspires Nonprofit Leaders


Uniting Communities Through Neighborhood Revitalization

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The Flood Waters Have Receded. We Need to Advance.

Raising the Bar | From the Executive Director | June 2019

By: Jeff Kutash, Executive Director

March flooding devastated significant portions of Nebraska and Western Iowa. This disaster directly impacted members of our team, our friends and neighbors, and our communities. We were hit hard, but we are resilient, and we are strong spirited. While it is difficult to hear of and see the damage and losses across the state, we are also inspired to see communities coming together, neighbors helping neighbors, and so many people and organizations stepping up in this time of crisis.

Our mission is to support the people and communities of Nebraska and Western Iowa. So we quickly got out hundreds of thousands of dollars of relief funds. We were able to do so because we are in close contact with our local partners in impacted communities. To all of you who shared your knowledge and expertise with us, and with our peers in the philanthropy community, thank you for helping us move quickly to get emergency funds out to ensure those closest to and most affected by the disaster had access to food, shelter, water, clothing and other critical supplies. We greatly appreciate your efforts, and the efforts of all of the people, community groups, nonprofits, houses of worship, and government entities who worked tirelessly to address those immediate needs.

But it’s now two months later. The national media has moved on to other stories and the initial wave of relief donations has died down; just at a time when we are really beginning to understand the extent of the damage, the vast numbers of individuals and businesses that have been impacted, and the challenging road ahead to long-term recovery. The need is immense, and we will stay connected to our partners so we can continue to best direct our funds to support current relief and long-term rebuilding efforts. We hope you will do the same.

As Midwesterners, we help our neighbors in times of need, it’s just who we are. If you have already donated your time or money, thank you. If you are in a position to donate more, please consider doing so. If you are unsure how you can directly support relief efforts, if you are looking for additional ways to help, or if you or someone you know needs help, please see the resources below.

  • If you would like to make a donation, this Lincoln Community Foundation page has a list of established emergency funds and immediate relief organizations that are helping individuals and families throughout Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
  • If you or someone you know needs help, this University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Page has an excellent list of resources grouped for Individuals & Families, Homeowners, Business & Communities, Agriculture, and Spanish Resources.
  • If you need help or want to help in the Greater Omaha Metro, this MAPA page has easy-to-navigate info by county and this United Way of the Midlands page has information from FEMA about how to volunteer or help financially.
  • This Access Nebraska page compiles a list of disaster and emergency resources all recommended by librarians across the state.

This is the time for us all to open our hearts. For us all to roll up our sleeves. And for us all to pitch in what we can. We are committed to doing just that, and it fills us with pride and hope to see so many of you just as committed as we are. This is especially important right now. Thank you for anything you can do to help. And remember, we are #NebraskaStrong and #IowaStrong.