At our beginning in 1923, United Way of the Midlands invested in 32 nonprofit health and human service organizations that supported local needs. Today, the full body of UWM’s work includes investments through our Community Care Fund and specialized funds, as well as our direct services.
Thanks to your generosity and support, we raised more than $40 million through campaigns and programs to help those who need it most in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro. We are grateful to our donors, corporate partners, family foundations, campaign leadership, the United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors and people like YOU who make this possible. Your commitment to giving back truly makes our community stronger!
With your belief and trust in what we do, United Way of the Midlands is able to maintain multiple layers of investment in more than 150 local nonprofit programs and direct services that address social and economic disparities and meet families’ essential needs needs such as healthy food, safe and stable housing, physical and mental health services, career preparation and job training. It’s this Circle of Support that allows us to help our neighbors overcome difficult challenges and start building a brighter future – right here in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro.
For its first year of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Fund, UWM is investing $400,000 in 12 programs that specifically support racial equity, and Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color (BIPOC) populations based on socioeconomic and health outcomes that are widely disproportional by race.
The DEI Fund will advance racial equity by supporting BIPOC-led nonprofits that are empowering BIPOC community members such as low income, women and refugees/immigrants through the following funding categories: Workforce Development, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Financial Empowerment.
Every hour of every day, someone in Nebraska and Iowa is faced with a challenge and needs assistance. To address these unseen and unmet needs, the 211 Helpline – housed at United Way of the Midlands – is a resource that connects people looking for assistance to local health and human services programs, community services, governmental programs andothers that can help.
For fiscal year 2022-23, the 211 Helpline received more than 313,080* contacts – and the number of people needing assistance shows no signs of slowing down. To address the evolving needs of those reaching out for help, we partner in two social determinants of health systems (Help Me Grow and Unite Nebraska) – collaborating with Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute, CyncHealth, CHI Health, Unite Us and others.
The 211 Helpline is fully funded through the State of Nebraska, Iowa United Ways, grants and fee-for-service contracts. We are grateful for the work of the Nebraska Unicameral and Senator Mike McDonnell to help maintain the support for this growing public-private partnership.
Empowering students with the skills and support to succeed in education, employment and life – that’s the mission of JAG Nebraska. By utilizing the JAG Advantage, the program is dedicated to providing students with personal and professional development training and support to succeed in high school, further education and employment following graduation.
Created in 2019 through a partnership with the State of Nebraska’s Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services – JAG Nebraska started with three schools and has now grown to serve over 1,000 students at 34 middle and high schools across the state. With the current support of Governor Jim Pillen and Commissioner John Albin – we plan to grow JAG Nebraska by an additional 38 programs for the school year beginning in August 2024 – exponentially increasing capacity to serve all students that would benefit from JAG Nebraska.
A JAG Career Specialist in each school provides student-centered programs to help young people achieve their fullest potential. Students receive individual attention and support through a program that equips them for success through hands-on instruction and realistic learning experiences – where they master up to 87 core competencies identified by business and industry as essential to beginning successful careers.
United Way of the Midlands is proud to partner with the Omaha World-Herald to administer the Goodfellows program that provides help to those in our community who have fallen on hard times. This includes people between jobs, the elderly, those who have experienced abuse and those facing a personal crisis with nowhere else to turn. This year, more than $650,000 will be invested in emergency services, holiday food vouchers and many additional programs.
For the 2022 campaign, Goodfellows’ donations came in from Nebraska and 19 other states.
In collaboration with Douglas County and partners in the court system, UWM’s Court Referral Community Service Program serves 300+ justice-involved adults annually – referring them to agencies for completion of community service hours, verifying they complete their hours and delivering reports to probation o cers. This represents more than 2,500 service hours for our community – and CRCSP is currently on-track to serve the most clients since 2016.
The work of the CRCSP saves Douglas County taxpayers an estimated $450,000 annually.
Through its partnership with Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare, and thanks to the support of Women United, UWM is expanding access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. This training gives individuals the tools and resources they need to help someone struggling with mental health challenges, while helping to reduce the stigma of and barriers to seeking help.
In its first year, more than 1,000 people received MHFA training – and UWM has a goal of increasing this number to 1,500 in 2024.
Raise Me to Read is part of the Omaha metro collective impact model to improve school readiness, out-of-school learning, school attendance, grade-level reading and to disrupt generational poverty. As a member of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a community solutions action plan was completed and continues to guide their work. Raise Me to Read
was named a 2022 All-America City Award finalist, based on our community’s work to support affordable housing which, in turn, supports efforts to increase childhood literacy.
Built upon a mutual desire to create a better, stronger and more vibrant community, United Way of the Midlands has had a longstanding partnership with the Omaha Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO). Through this partnership, we host an annual Blue Collar Boxing event that benefits the Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education and UWM’s Community Care Fund. NCWDE is focused on increasing the qualified workforce in Nebraska by creating opportunities for Omaha’s young people to gain exposure to and pursue careers in the trades, while also developing the skills to support the infrastructure of Nebraska.
As part of its GOOD on the Go program, UWM partners with local school districts and raises funds for the purchase and assembly of Shine Brightkits for kindergarten, sixth- and ninth-grade students. The kits are then distributed to students in the Omaha, Council Bluffs and Papillion La Vista school districts – as well as JAG Nebraska students across the state. Each Shine Bright kit contains the essential hygiene items kids need to feel confident so they can succeed in the classroom and in life.
Through our partnership with the Combined Health Agencies Drive (CHAD), health charities receive funding to conduct innovative research, provide critical client services and offer education and prevention programs to members in our community.