Stories of Need During COVID-19

More and more families are struggling. Nonprofits are scrambling to serve them. But we can’t continue to do so without YOU.


Lisa, Sherry and Joe are Omaha-Council Bluffs residents, just like you.


They recently called our 211 Helpline for assistance and received the help they needed, but needs are skyrocketing in the metro. With more than 100,000 unemployment claims in Nebraska and more than 260,000 in Iowa so far, thousands more people like Lisa, Sherry and Joe are leaning on nonprofits to help them get by.



Lisa had just started a new, higher-paying job in March. She was excited for this new career path, but then COVID-19 hit. Because she wasn’t able to finish her job training, she couldn’t work from home and was laid off. Without a paying job, she wasn’t able to pay her rent.



Sherry is elderly and lives alone. Earlier this spring she went to the grocery store, but then she heard that COVID-19 could be spread by touching your face. She didn’t know how to safely remove her dentures after shopping in public and was worried she would make herself sick.



Joe was laid off due to COVID-19. Even though his wife was still able to work they couldn’t make ends meet and provide for their kids. He needed help with their mortgage, paying utility bills and getting food and groceries.

Lisa, Sherry and Joe received the help they needed, but right NOW thousands more like them across the metro are in need and struggling. Local nonprofits are adapting to meet dramatic increases in requests for assistance right now, but we need your help.

Local pantries your donation supports are serving hundreds more individuals per day. One, for example, is serving 750 people a day.
So far this spring, some have already served nearly half of the number of families they normally serve in a year’s time. Estimates show many will serve 100,000 clients or more in the next 12 months.

Our 211 Helpline has responded to more than 55,000 requests for assistance since the beginning of the pandemic. This is an increase of more than 120% compared to last year at this time, despite seeing high call volume last year due to catastrophic flooding in our region.

Local pantries are spending significantly more to meet demand for food and hygiene items.
Some are also leveraging National Guard members to assist with distribution and increased traffic.

Other nonprofit groups are directly providing medical services and tests for individuals with COVID-19.
And nonprofit employees who work in high-risk healthcare and shelter settings are falling ill themselves.

YOU can help those who are struggling by donating what you can to our Omaha Gives fundraiser today! Your gift will support more than 100 nonprofit programs that form a Circle of Support for our neighbors and help them build a better life.

Every dollar up to the first $15,000 will be graciously matched by our community partner, Wells Fargo.

According to the CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress as part of the COVID-19 relief bill, your donation will make you eligible for a tax deduction of up to $300 if you do not itemize your taxes. The CARES Act applies to all donations made to nonprofits throughout 2020. Learn more about charitable deduction changes.

Omaha Gives! is a year-round online giving platform organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties. Each year, a 24-hour online giving event in May celebrates participating nonprofits

The goal of Omaha Gives! is to inspire our community to come together for 24-hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the metro area. The minimum donation is $1 and there is no maximum. 

About the Author

Kylie is the Manager of Digital at United Way of the Midlands. Whenever you see a social media post or something new on the website, chances are she was behind it! She loves finding new ways to share stories online that inspire people to give back. Her favorite things in life are her family and friends, her pets Maisel and Bunny, and nachos.

United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

Privacy Policy   |   Contact Us   |   211 Helpline   |   For Companies   |   For Nonprofits