At Kids Can Community Center, their mission is to educate, engage and inspire children through early childhood care and out-of-school experiences. Established in 1908 as Social Settlement Association of Omaha, the organization was rebranded to better reflect their vision and programs. The focus on children and families was a common thread throughout the first century of the organization. They had their first school-based program in 1916, first summer program in 1918, and first full-day childcare program in 1942. Kids Can continues to believe that every child deserves an opportunity to a successful start in life.
As community leaders, our Board of Directors are deeply invested in our work. They steward the vision of UWM and provide strategic guidance to move our organization forward. As a part of ongoing visits to United Way funded nonprofits, several Board members joined United Way staff for a tour of Kids Can’s new facilities.
Pictured from left to right are: Pamela Beall-Hill, Clark Ponthier, Gladys Harrison, Shawna Forsberg, Avi Atholi and Bob Gunia.
The Kids Can partnership with United Way goes back to a very pivotal time in their history. Founded in 1908 as Social Settlement Association, funds from the Omaha Community Chest in 1923 allowed Social Settlement to remodel their building and add a second story before re-opening services in South Omaha. In 1975, the name of the Omaha Community Chest was changed to United Way of the Midlands and in 2009, they changed their name to Kids Can Community Center. That project back in 1923 was one of the first major investments in the Omaha community by United Way, and United Way is their organization’s longest partner. Kids Can will be celebrating their 115th anniversary in conjunction with United Way of the Midlands’ 100th!