Ways to Give Back During the Holidays in the Omaha Area
Over the course of our 167-year history, NP Dodge Real Estate has been passionate about giving back to the community. And through the formation of DodgeCares in 2002, we are even better equipped to support the people and nonprofit agencies working to make Omaha and the surrounding areas an even better place to live, work and raise a family. While our efforts extend throughout the year, there is something special about the holiday season that makes us all want to give back a little more. It’s the season of giving, after all!
There are several ways to give back to the Omaha area community during the holidays this year, from gift drives to food pantry events, and so much more. This time of year when the needs are so great, these organizations are working around the clock to provide support for those experiencing homelessness, hunger, addiction, poverty, and so many other struggles. Come alongside to support their efforts by volunteering your time, money or in-kind gifts this holiday season!
NP Dodge Company is proud to join forces with WOWT and Methodist Health System for the annual WOWT Stuff the Bus Food Drive on Thursday, December 1 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. — and we need your participation! You can help us quite literally “stuff the bus” on site with non-perishable donations for those in need. Donating is quick, easy and contact-free. Simply pull up and pop your trunk and our volunteers will collect your donation. Cash donations will also be accepted. Special needs this season include beans, breakfast foods (like cereal, oatmeal and pancake mix), canned vegetables, crackers, canned meat/fish, meal-starter kits (like Hamburger Helper), pasta and pasta sauce, rice, and toilet paper. Click here for more details about this event!
As soon as you see those bell ringers stationed outside the grocery store, you know it’s officially the holiday season! And on December 2, you’ll see real estate agents ringing bells throughout the metro area, as part of REALTOR® Ring Day, a program of the State Association of REALTORS®. They will be collecting donations for the Salvation Army, so be sure to come ready with your contribution and say hello to our agents!
Located in the same building as the Washington County Food Pantry, Joseph’s Coat is a thrift store designed to make affordable clothing and household items available to the community. All proceeds from the thrift store are used to stock the organization’s food pantry for those in crisis situations. So every time you shop at Joseph’s Coat, you’re supporting their incredible work! Plus, on December 7 from 6:30–9 a.m., they are hosting Christmas for the Coat: Drive-Thru Edition. Enjoy a “to-go” breakfast and beverages, and purchase raffle baskets, with all proceeds supporting the Washington County Food Pantry. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the food pantry, the Washington County Bank in Blair and Fort Calhoun, and Conner Chiropractic in Blair.
If you’re already planning on going to Santa’s Rock n Lights, wait until December 8 to go, so a portion of your admission can go toward a good cause! Considered Omaha’s #1 light show tradition, Santa’s Rock n Lights is a drive-through wonderland, complete with a 700-foot dancing light tunnel, massive light sculptures, displays timed to music, and more. Enjoy classic favorites and a variety of new items added every year. On Thursday, December 8th, for every ticket purchased per car (17 ticket minimum), $3.50 will be donated back to Open Door Mission with no maximum. Get your tickets online as soon as possible!
Speaking of Open Door Mission, you can also support this incredible organization with the Project Santa Toy Drive. You can shop online for toys for boys and girls in need, so everyone can have gifts on Christmas morning! The Amazon Wish List includes a wide variety of toys for all ages, including Fisher-Price and Playskool toddler toys, sports balls, board games and puzzles, baby dolls, Play-Doh sets, and more. All orders will ship directly to Open Door Mission!
Stephen Center is a safe haven that has provided emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, transitional living, and addiction recovery for adults and juveniles since 1984. They also help provide life skills education to help those struggling with addiction or homelessness. From humble beginnings in a rundown former pool hall and bar, Stephen Center has grown to include a multi-facility campus designed to support vulnerable men, women and children as they seek to overcome homelessness, addiction and poverty.
Support this incredible mission by donating to the Stephen Center Merry Mart through December 13. You can donate new board games, clothes, gift cards, and other small items to the Merry Mart by shopping directly on their Amazon Wish List. Stephen Center clients can then shop for their children from the donated items at no cost! Items can be dropped off no later than December 13 at the Stephen Center Donation Dock or shipped directly to Stephen Center via Amazon. Visit the Stephen Center website for more information about Merry Mart.
Youth Emergency Services (YES) seeks to help and protect Omaha’s homeless youth, many of whom are victims of abuse. It can be unsafe for them to return to their families and YES steps in to provide support. And one of the ways you can support their efforts is by giving to the YES Gift Drive. Shop for gifts for youth ages 16–24 — as well as new and expectant mothers and their babies. Click here to see their wished-for items or shop directly from their Amazon Wish List!
Celebrating its 23rd season in 2022, Omaha’s annual Holiday Lights Festival is a must-see! Explore downtown as it’s covered in thousands of dazzling lights and experience a host of free holiday events, from the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony to the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular.
Plus, their Shine the Light on Hunger campaign is “a rallying call to support essential hunger relief efforts and provide meals for those in need.” This year, Conagra Brands has set an ambitious goal of raising the equivalent of 3 million meals to support the hunger relief efforts led by Food Bank for the Heartland. To encourage the public’s participation, every gift made before December 31 will be matched — up to $320,000. This includes a generous match of $100,000 from the Conagra Brands Foundation, $100,000 from the Scoular Foundation, $100,000 from Farm Credit Services of America, and $20,000 from Baker’s Supermarkets’ Zero Hunger Zero Waste commitment. Click here for more information about the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign and how you can get involved!
Omaha’s frigid temperatures, not to mention snow, ice and wind, can make survival difficult for our homeless and near-homeless population during the winter. That’s why the Salvation Army spends five nights a week between December and February making multiple stops across the city with their mobile food trucks, distributing hot meals and beverages, plus winter coats, gloves, hats, socks and blankets to anyone in need. Last year, the Winter Night Watch program provided more than 8,000 meals and hundreds of winter outerwear items to those struggling from the harsh weather conditions. Winter Night Watch depends on volunteers to help drive the food trucks and assist with the distribution of meals and winter wear at the stops. And they’re also in need of donated winter hats, gloves, socks and coats (especially men’s sizes XL, 2XL and 3XL). Click here for more details about how to get involved with Winter Night Watch this year!
Heartland Hope Mission is a faith-based organization that provides a week’s supply of food, clothing and hygiene products to the needy all throughout the Omaha metro area — in addition to other services and programs. And during the holidays, you can adopt a family for the Hope-Filled Christmas program, where parents can register to receive brand-new gifts for their children, along with wrapping paper, stocking stuffers, and a holiday meal pantry. Click here to adopt a family and shop for gifts — or simply give a monetary donation to financially support a family for the holidays!
Project Linus works to keep children and families warm and to spread care throughout our communities. Even if you only know how to tie knots, you can make a blanket this holiday season! These handmade blankets are donated to individual children as well as area homes and local organizations. Click here for all the information and guidelines for the blankets Project Linus will accept, including specific measurements, materials, instructions, and more.
The holiday season can be an extra challenging time for families with children receiving long-term medical care. But Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha provides a temporary home and care families need so they can support their child’s needs and be close to medical treatment. It costs Ronald McDonald House $120 per night to house a family, but donations from generous donors means the family just pays a $20 donation per night. Click here to learn more about the incredible work Ronald McDonald House is doing — and how you can support their mission.
Thank you for joining NP Dodge in support of these amazing charities and organizations. Every contribution makes a difference!
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