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Omaha Magazine

Husker-Based Charities: Six Ways Husker Fans Help Others

Aug 27, 2021 04:07PM ● By Tamsen Butler

Photography Contributed

Husker Nation is a thriving subculture, and one that takes care of its people. Whether caring for the littlest Husker fans or ensuring former athletes can pay their medical bills, Husker charities shine a huge spotlight on the idea of “Nebraska Nice.”

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Devaney Legacy Society
625 Stadium Drive, Lincoln, NE
402.472.3111 | 
huskerathleticfund.com

Named after legendary football coach Bob Devaney, this society is a part of The Husker Athletic Fund and was established in 2000. Their mission is to support student-athletes and provide them with the best experience. From renovations to training facilities to promoting the long-term, national prominence of Husker athletics, this fund focuses on the experience of student-athletes. Devaney transformed the Huskers into national champions during his 35 years as coach and athletic director. The Devaney Legacy Society accepts planned giving and endowments to the benefit of Husker student-athletes and their education, personal development, and sports performance.

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Husker Pantry
550 N. 19th St., Room 123, Lincoln, NE
402.472.8975 | 
pantry.unl.edu

The Husker Pantry opened in 2017 and provides food and toiletries to students along with information about community resources for housing and other food resources. Students simply present their student ID card and they are eligible for assistance from Husker Pantry. The pantry reports that nearly one in three students experience food insecurity. They provide food so these students can get back to studying and worry less about from where their next meal will come. Husker Pantry has donation bins throughout the campus and accepts donations through their Amazon Wish List or online.

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Nebraska Greats Foundation
5010 Underwood Ave.,Omaha, NE
402.561.2000 | nebraskagreatsfoundation.org

The Nebraska Greats Foundation provides in-need former student-athletes with financial and medical assistance. The foundation serves alumni at the four-year colleges and universities in Nebraska. Former student-athletes are eligible for assistance if they earned their letter in athletics. The Nebraska Greats Foundation was originally called the Husker Greats Foundation but changed to its current name in 2015 when it earned Internal Revenue Service designation as a nonprofit organization. The foundation hosts an annual golf event and celebrity sports night as their main fundraisers.

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Team Jack
47640 E. Highway 20, Atkinson, NE
402.925.2120 | 
teamjackfoundation.org

Most people are already familiar with Team Jack, even if they don’t realize it. In the 2013 “run seen across the nation,” 6-year-old Jack Hoffman, a brain cancer survivor, was invited onto the football field and scored a 69-yard touchdown, making him an internet sensation and earning him an ESPY Award for Best Moment in Sports.
Hoffman is now a teenager who, of course, plays football. Family and friends created the Team Jack Legacy Fund in 2012, now known as the Team Jack Foundation. An annual gala is their main fundraiser.

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TeamMates
6801 O St., Lincoln, NE
402.323.6252 | 
teammates.org

Coach Tom Osborne and his wife, Nancy, started this mentoring program 30 years ago. It started small, with around 20 football players from the team visiting with middle school students in public schools in Lincoln. The majority of the middle school students graduated from high school and most of them progressed into post-secondary education. TeamMates mentors meet with thousands of students throughout the Midwest. The annual TeamMates Gala is their main fundraiser of the year, and in 2021 it will feature retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

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University of Nebraska Foundation
2285 S. 67th St., No. 200, Omaha, NE
800-432-3216 | 
nufoundation.org

The University of Nebraska Foundation was established in 1936. As the Great Depression continued, universities experienced financial difficulties and fewer students enrolled. This foundation was created with the intent of supporting the University of Nebraska above and beyond what state funding can provide. The Brook Berringer Memorial Scholarship Fund is part of the University of Nebraska Foundation. Berringer was a quarterback who died in a plane crash in 1996, two days before the NFL Draft, in which he was expected to be a pick. A benefit concert in 1997 was the beginning of the fund, which is the branch of the foundation that goes directly to UNL. 

This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.