Heartland United Way works with a variety of community partners to host events and fundraisers throughout the year. All proceeds raised or items donated are used for local programs and services at Heartland United Way or the 17 Community Partners.

Upcoming Events

Learn more about the Campaign Kick Off events here.


United Way Fundraisers


Go Big GIVE - Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Go Big GIVE… a 24-hour online giving event brought to you by the Heartland United Way and Greater Grand Island Community Foundation to GROW your gift at! Get ahead of the game and pre-give (TBD). Go Big GIVE inspires communities to come together for 24 hours to give BIG to support the work of nonprofits in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties. The minimum online donation is $10 but every gift grows with added match pool funds and incentive prizes. 

United Way Golf Tournament - Monday, June 6th, 2022

Each year, the Heartland United Way hosts a golf tournament at Riverside Golf Club on the first Monday in June. Local businesses sponsor teams (teams of four or two) to compete for prizes in the scramble format tournament. The 35th annual tournament will be held on Monday, June 6th. 

State Fair Ice Cream Parlor - August 27th, 2021 - September 6th, 2021

When the Nebraska State Fair moved to Grand Island in August 2010, the Heartland United Way saw a great opportunity to become a vendor and help ensure at least part of the State Fair food revenues flow back in to the community to help people in need. Using solely volunteer labor, United Way operated the Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor in partnership with HiLand Dairy. All volunteers served ice cream cones and earned hourly wages for the Heartland United Way Community Partner of their choice. The parlor was so successful in its first year that we plan to continue operation in future years. Please come visit us at the Nebraska State Fair!

Heartland United Way Food Drive - September 6th - 15th, 2021

Join us for the Food for Families Food Drive in September! The food collected during the drive and sponsor funds are distributed to local food pantries and backpack programs in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties in Nebraska. Heartland United Way works with FFA leaders and local grocery stores to coordinate the food drive efforts. At Husker Harvest Days, FFA students are invited to bring a minimum of 5 non-perishable food items for free entry into Husker Harvest Days. In addition to donating food at Husker Harvest Days, community members can support the drive by donating at Super Saver and Hy-Vee. The Food for Families Food Drive is made possible by Nebraska Farm Bureau, Aurora Cooperative and Farm Progress.

Imagination Bacon - Bacon & Brew 4 BOOKS - October 16th, 2021

In 2013, the Heartland United Way took part in the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program. Imagination Library gives free books to children ages 0-5 that live in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties. With the generous support of community donors, this program has remained free and without a waitlist for over 3,200 enrolled children in our 4-county area. The goal for the Imagination Library Program is to be free for all families with young children and not having to worry about a financial commitment. That is where IMAGINATION BACON came into play! All proceeds from Imagination Bacon will go to fund the program to remain free to families. Imagination Bacon is a bacon fest and micro-brew tasting event. There will be a silent and live entertainment. Click here to purchase tickets!

Dine United - Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

As the basic act of providing food & shelter becomes more difficult for local families, the cry for action echoes louder than ever before. Join us on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 as the Heartland United Way teams up with Crisis Center, Hope Harbor and Salvation Army to raise awareness and funds to help fight hunger and homelessness in Hall, Hamilton, Howard & Merrick Counties. Participating Dine United restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to these local homeless shelters, food pantries and helping organizations.


United Way Events

Annual Meeting - TBA

All community members are invited to the annual meeting in March to celebrate the successes of the campaign and elect new board members. Campaign volunteers and pacesetter businesses are honored for their hard work. The Be the One and LIVE UNITED awards are presented to two community members in honor of their dedication to community service. Please check back to purchase your seat.

GIVING TUESDAY - Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

#GivingTuesday is the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage people to give back during the holiday season. #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. This holiday season — give your voice, time & money to improve your community!

United Way Day of Action - June 2022

Please check back for Day of Action plans for 2021.

Pacesetter Kick Off - 2021 TBA

Each August, campaign coordinators at local businesses are invited to attend the pacesetter kick-off to learn how to host a successful workplace campaign to benefit United Way. Coordinators receive their campaign materials, as well as tips and strategies for making the workplace campaign fun for employees.

Tour of Agencies - 2022 TBD

Community members are invited to tour the 17 Community Partners each year. The tour is a great way to learn about the variety of local programs and services they provide and the people they serve. This is an all-day event and a great opportunity to learn how Heartland United Way donor dollars are spent. Please check back soon for details on the 2022 tour!

Campaign Kick Off - October 7th, 2021

Heartland United Way kicks off the community campaign at the end of September or beginning of October. The event is typically a luncheon that features a local or national speaker to inspire community members to get involved by giving, advocating or volunteering. Past speakers have included Chris Gardner, author of "The Pursuit of Happiness," former Husker football star Matt Davison, former Husker Coach, Tom Osborne, Tim Miles and Gloria Wolbach. 

The 2021/2021 Campaign Kick off will feature special guest, Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy in 2013. He was a member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots Crew in Prescott, Arizona. Click below to view all events happening for the Campaign Kick Off. Please join us!

Click here to see all Campaign Kick Off Events.


25 Keys of Christmas/Campaign Finale - Thursday, December 9th

Heartland United Way announces their campaign total each year in mid-December and celebrates the individuals who contributed at a campaign finale reception. The reception includes the 25 Keys of Christmas give away where one lucky donor wins the campaign vehicle donated by Tom Dinsdale.


Holiday Programs

To learn more about our Holiday Programs, please CLICK HERE.

Please visit our community calendar to stay connected and find opportunities to support our Community Partners or other nonprofits in the community.