Emerging Leaders News

As we enter a new school year, we want to thank United Way of the Midlands’ Emerging Leaders group for supporting literacy!

To recap, last year the Emerging Leaders:
  • Raised more than $38,000 for the Book Trust program,
  • Volunteered 250+ hours for Book Trust and,
  • Helped put more than 42,000 books into the hands of local kids!

Looking forward, they aim to raise $50,000 for Book Trust, build community partnerships, provide professional development and networking opportunities for their members and, of course, increase student reading achievement.

Book Trust Highlights

Marcus Theatres Book Trust Spotlight

Throughout September and October, this 30-second spot will play before every movie at Majestic Cinema in Omaha. It helps spread the word about the wonderful Book Trust program Emerging Leaders support and fundraise for!

Book Trust Celebration

At the end of the school year, students at Howard Kennedy Elementary had a blast at their Book Trust celebration, sponsored by U.S. Bank. Kids spent the afternoon playing games and received a special frozen treat from Kona Ice.

Volunteer with Emerging Leaders!

What: Read with K-3rd grade students
Why: Reading buddies help students improve reading skills, provide a caring and supportive environment for kids to practice, and celebrate the arrival of their new books!
Where: Howard Kennedy Elementary and local elementary schools
When: Friday afternoons
Frequency: Once a month
Interested? Email emergingleaders@uwmidlands.org

Upcoming Events

Blue Collar Boxing

When: November 27th, 7pm
Where: Baxter Arena
Blue Collar Boxing is an exciting and competitive boxing event featuring local labor union members that raises money for our community. Hosted by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) with support from United Way of the Midlands, proceeds from the event will strengthen our community by supporting the efforts of United Way of the Midlands and the Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education.

SAVE THE DATE – Giving Tuesday
When: December 3rd
Proceeds support Book Trust!
Giving Tuesday is coming up in early December. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, Giving Tuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to give back to causes that matter to them.
Last Giving Tuesday Book Trust students got to attend a Jays game and participate in the halftime shootout. Special thanks to Creighton for providing tickets for students and to Cobalt Credit Union! Keep your eyes peeled for updates around this year’s fundraiser.


Thank you for another wonderul Day of Caring!

1,006 volunteers. 100 projects. 50 agencies. 40 companies. 1 amazing day of giving back. Click the button below to read more and view photos from this impactful day.

Birdies for Books Gold Tournament

In partnership with Fidelity National Title Group, last month Emerging Leaders hosted their first-ever golf tournament Birdies for Books to raise funds for the Book Trust program. They ended up with a total of 118 golfers and raised $8,200 which will allow them to provide about 1,200 students with books. Thank you so much to Fidelity National Title Group and to the players and volunteers who made this event a hole-in-one!

Rock Out to Read

Rock Out to Read in June was a HUGE success – $7,634 raised for Book Trust! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the Waiting Room to rock out and support this vital program. Special thanks to the bands Salt Creek, Glen Hollow and Field Club, and to our sponsors!

Take your #HatsOff4UnitedWay

UWM’s new social media campaign #HatsOff4UnitedWay has officially launched and we’re asking for your help in raising $25,000 for local families in need!


  • Post your “hats off” photo on social media (it can be with friends, family, fur babies – whatever your jam is!)
  • Use #HatsOff4UnitedWay
  • Sponsors will donate $1 to United Way of the Midlands.


Special thanks to the OPPD Young Professionals Group for donating the proceeds from their 6th Annual Volleyball Tournament to the Book Trust program. We’d also like to provide a shoutout to OPPD President and CEO, Tim Burke for providing a match of the proceeds bringing the total donation to $1,918, more than double from last year’s tournament!

Special thanks to HDR for awarding Emerging Leaders with a grant to build bookshelves with Book Trust students. This project will help deepen the impact of the Book Trust program by creating a home library environment that inspires the healthy habits of lifelong readers and learners. Stay tuned for more details about this projects and how to get involved!

The Emerging Leaders are always looking for new members to add to our committees. Please email emergingleaders@uwmidlands.org to express your interest in joining, to explore other ways to get involved or to set up a volunteer opportunity.


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About the Author

Kelsey is the Special Events & Community Relations Associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the current Marketing and Communications Chair for the United Way of the Midlands Emerging Leaders. During the day, she is busy coordinating and promoting special events for the campus and Chancellor’s Office, organizing community outreach activities and building community partnerships. In her free time, she enjoys attending concerts, attempting various Pinterest projects and hanging out with her fur baby, Bentley.


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