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Omaha Magazine

Omaha Magazine - September 2023: The Giving Issue

Aug 22, 2023 02:49PM ● By Julius Fredrick
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Though the retired slogan “Nebraska Nice” may be something on an instate meme at this point, there’s no denying that inhabitants of Nebraska, and by demographic concentration, Omaha, are among the most generous people around. Though a lifelong resident of Omaha, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel fairly extensively—and still, with few exceptions, I’ve rarely encountered people with hearts more open than in my hometown (or wallets and purses, for that matter). 

Our annual 'Big Give' special section highlights this well, and each nonprofit and charitable organization is well worth your consideration, whether for donations or volunteering opportunities.

Yet, generosity in Omaha displays in many different forms. For example, there’s the generosity of laughter, song, and spirit as seen in this issue’s Arts & Culture section. Then, there’s the unrivaled support of women’s athletics, as revealed by our sports profile on Creighton Volleyball head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth.

Conversation, compromise, and collaboration are uniquely bountiful in the case of our cover story. Initiated by Empowerment Network Founder and CEO Willie Barney, city officials, charitable organizations, and individual residents (or ‘neighborhood champions’ as described by YouTurn Executive Director Teresa Negron) set aside personal gain and grievances to make Omaha 360 not only a model for violence intervention and prevention locally, but nationally as reported by ABC and the Washington Post. Due to their selfless efforts, gun violence in the metro has reduced significantly over the past 15 years—so much so, that former President Barack Obama has declared Omaha a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance ‘Model City as of 2023—a distinction shared by only three other cities this year.

Indeed, some people grow more generous with age—others, like our adventure profile subject Brandon Schutt are simply built that way. Having undergone multiple operations as a result of rapid adolescent growth, the young man preserved with an unselfish spirit intact. After a viral video of Schutt surfaced—one in which he helped a competing racer stand and cross the finish line after falling during a high school track meet—the mayor of Bellevue proclaimed November 16, 2021 “Brandon Schutt Day” in honor of his altruism. Perhaps even more remarkable, this he just ran 365 miles across the state of Nebraska to raise money for charity.

Every September, Omaha Magazine’s ‘Giving Issue’ highlights the kindness, hospitality, and philanthropic spirit of our city—and thankfully, there’s never a shortage of worthy subjects.
Thank you for reading, and for making my home such an inspiring place to live.


-Julius Fredrick


Omaha Magazine - September 2023: The Giving Issue

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