Holiday Programs

During the holiday season, Heartland United Way provides necessities and gift items to individuals experiencing extraordinary needs through two programs – Toys for Tots and Adopt a Family. Individuals who need holiday assistance must get a referral (for Adopt A Family) and complete the online only application (for Toys for Tots) to be considered for either program. The online application process will open online only for Toys for Tots October 1st-December 1st @ 4:00 pm. The Heartland United Way works closely with local school social workers and the United Way community partners. Many area churches also help refer individuals to the programs. If you do not have an existing relationship with a local church or social worker at one of the qualified referral locations, call the Heartland United Way office at (308) 382-2675 for assistance.

Each year, our organization is able to serve the referred individuals and families because of the generosity of our community members and the assistance of local businesses.

CLICK Here to see 2022 recap of our Holiday Programs.

Toys for Tots

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.

To register for toys for tots - fill out the form by clicking here.

Parents whose children are accepted into the program will receive a letter/voucher to “shop” for their child’s gift from the donated items. The goal is to collect enough items so each child will receive one toy, a stuffed animal, and a book or game. The Heartland United Way served over 1,900 local children through this program in 2022. 

Donations of new, unwrapped toys and gently-used books or stuffed animals are collected starting in November 2023. Please drop off donations of new, un-wrapped toys at the Heartland United Way office (1441 N Webb Road, Grand Island) or supporting businesses where you see a Toys for Tots Box. Not sure what toys to purchase? Click here to see our most needed items.

To register your business to be a collection site for toys, please fill out the form by clicking here. 

Thank you to everyone in our community who makes Toys for Tots possible! We have a lot of helping elves and Secret Santas in our community.

Adopt A Family

The Adopt a Family program allows businesses, community members, and organizations to provide local families with food, necessity items, and gifts during the holidays. Families accepted into this program are experiencing extraordinary needs due to job loss, health issues, a house fire, or other major circumstances. Adopters donate gifts to an assigned family anonymously based on a description of the family’s biggest needs. In 2022, Heartland United Way connected 47 local families with adopters through the program.

To adopt a family or provide monetary support for this program, contact the Heartland United Way office at (308) 382-2675, or complete this form. *Adopters must be located in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, or Merrick Counties in Nebraska.

All families must be referred or nominated by a social worker, church or other agency. 

A Helping Hand - Toys for Tots 2021
Toys for Tots Volunteers 2021