United Way Community Partners

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.

Go Big GIVE - May 4, 2023 online at 

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. 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 5, 2023 at noon at Riverside Golf Club

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) to compete for prizes in the scramble format tournament. The 35th annual tournament was held on Monday, June 6th, 2022. Thank you so much for supporting Heartland United Way and our community partners!


Day of Action Event - Wednesday, June 21, 2023

In 2022, the Heartland United Way and Big Red Treats hosted a volunteer fair on Tuesday, June 21. Community members were invited to Big Red Treats to get to know our community partners. By visiting with all present community agencies, individuals earned a FREE small ice cream and were put into a drawing to win a $50 Big Red Treats gift card. Stay tuned for details in 2023! More to come soon!

Imagination Bacon - Bacon & Brew 4 BOOKS - Friday, August 11, 2023

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 3,000 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 is live entertainment. 

Nebraska State Fair SCOOPS Ice Cream Parlor - August 25 - September 4, 2023

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. 

Available flavors: TBD

Dine United - TBD

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 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.

GIVING TUESDAY - November 28, 2023

#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!

Tour of Agencies - August 3, 2023

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. 

Pacesetter Kick Off - TBD 2023 

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.

Heartland United Way Food Drive - September 12-14, 2023

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.

Campaign Kick Off - TBD 2023

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. 

25 Keys of Christmas/Campaign Finale - December 2023

Heartland United Way announces their campaign total each year in 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.

Toys for Tots Distribution - Friday, December 15, 2023 at the Pinnacle Bank Expo Building/Quilt Room at Fonner Park

Heartland United Way works in partnership with the US Marine Corp each year to offer the Toys for Tots program which serves Hall, Hamilton, Howard, and Merrick Counties. Locally, the Toys for Tots program provides holiday gift assistance for children age 12 and under whose parents are not financially able to provide gifts for them during the holidays. This program is not meant for providing additional toys.


Annual Meeting - March 2024 from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at the Riverside Golf Club

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. 

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

TeamMates of Grand Island
Loaves & Fishes