Heartland United Way kicks off fall campaign


Heartland United Way kicks off annual campaign.(Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
By Alicia Naspretto

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Heartland United Way kicked off their fall campaign on Wednesday during a joint ceremony with their donor recognition event. The latter is typically held in the spring, but was suspended due to the pandemic. Leaders of the nonprofit thanked their donors for their efforts and raised awareness on their current needs.

“We really need these donations now more than ever and we need people that if they haven’t given in the past, please support Heartland United Way," Karen Rathke, President of Heartland United Way, told Local4 News. "If you have given in the past, maybe see if you can increase it a little bit.”

Being several months into this pandemic, Heartland United Way has seen the need for help in the community rise significantly. They’ve been crucial in helping the area get back on their feet and now look for donations to be able to continue that work.

Donations to the group go to 17 organizations in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.

“We are helping hundreds of people and spending thousands of dollars really helping people stay in their homes and meeting their basic needs right now," Rathke said. "We’re also here asking people to help us help others.”

“We realize that times are tough and people have given a lot to COVID campaigns and a lot are out of work," Campaign Chair Jayne Smith said. "But we feel it’s a great time to ask people to support the people that need us.”

The campaign will go until December when they do their annual car give away. They also have several events between now and then.

“Everyday there’s something special. We have our food night in November and there’s just a lot of events," Smith said. "Each county is having specialized events. We need to get the word out on what we are and what we can do to help people.”

This year’s campaign is a little different in that they don’t have a set fundraising goal, but just ask that donors give what they can.

For more information on Heartland United Way and how you can donate or volunteer, you can visit their website.

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