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Omaha Magazine

'Tis Better to Give

Aug 22, 2023 02:50PM ● By Kim Carpenter

Design by Rachel Birdsall.

Listen to this article here. Audio Provided by Radio Talking Book Service.

There’s no doubt about it: the city is home to generous people. Whether it’s a school drive or a charity, Omahans don't hesitate to open their wallets (and checkbooks) to help those in need. While there are many deserving, established nonprofits throughout the city, these six newcomers are taking on unique issues. As community members prepare their end-of-year quarterly giving, these fledgling organizations shouldn’t be overlooked—each offers unique and important avenues of impact and are well worth the consideration of the engaged citizen.

12020 Shamrock Plaza, Suite 200 | 402.953.9660
ICHA is a nonprofit organization that bridges the healthcare gap by creating a community for medical providers and alternative practitioners to come together. The organization offers a conduit for the communication and cooperation of its growing network of health professionals to give the public a reliable resource to pursue their health the way they want with the support they need, while simultaneously offering better-individualized wellness recommendations. By bringing together a group of open-minded and qualified healthcare professionals, the association facilitates collaborations between health specialties to make each patient or client not only feel heard, but also start them on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

This nonprofit builds intentional community and creates equitable space in service to LGBTQ+ individuals and families of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. The organization, which has the support of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, is working to create an LGBTQ+ community center in the metro with programming to meet their specific needs. The agency plans to offer programs and services that will include LGBTQ+ affirming clinical counseling and support groups. Mental health services, which are often challenging for many in the LGBTQ+ community to obtain, will be a main priority.

When Emiliano Carrera-Ybanez dreamed of joining the All-State Orchestra at Bryan High School in 2017, the then-sophomore lacked the funds to make his dream come true. Omaha Symphony violinist Judy Davis came up with the idea to help pay for private  lessons and an instrument. Good Vibrations was born—the nonprofit provides new or used instruments, which are professionally repaired and restored, to students attending Title I, or low-income, schools in Omaha while also bringing them together with mentors from the Omaha Chamber Music Society. Additionally, the nonprofit provides professional development workshops for teachers and future music teachers about stringed instrument purchase and care, as well as private lessons for teachers that don’t specialize in chordophones.

The mission is simple: bring back butterflies. Nebraska Monarchs accomplishes this by helping people and communities create gardens and habitats that help native pollinators thrive. The organization has been working to restore pollinator habitat in Midwest communities since 2015 via free milkweed seed and native plant giveaways. In late 2022, Nebraska Monarchs officially became a 501(c)(3) non-profit when the board voted to refocus resources away from the free seed program in favor of the native plant giveaway, where organizations and individuals residing in Omaha and surrounding communities can receive free native plants that are locally sourced from Midwest Natives Nursery. 

This nonprofit’s mission is to help bridge the financial gap for the immediate families of law enforcement officers, corrections officers, or first responders who have been feloniously assaulted and killed while protecting and serving the communities they loved. Founded by Curtis DeBerg, a former police officer who provides personal security and works as a driver for Warren Buffett, Give Blue Hope helps bridge the financial gap from the time a police officer is killed in the line of duty to the benefit package of the department which helps with immediate bills such as groceries, car payments, rents, mortgages, and/or electricity.

1818 Dodge St. | 402.345.0213; 
2929 California St. | 531.466.4654
Formerly The Bike Union and Coffee, Astute Coffee connects young adults to the workforce and supports their self-sufficiency through personal and professional development programming. The workforce development coffeehouse model exists solely to provide professional resources to young adults who have been impacted by the foster care system. The BUMP mountain bike program partners with Child Saving Institute's emergency shelter. Every coffee purchase from Astute strengthens an organization with the purpose to give back to the community. 

This article originally appeared in the September 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

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