Project Hope Pack Transitions into Leadership of CASA

Over the years, Project Hope Pack has positively impacted the lives of thousands by distributing necessities and comfort items to children ages 3-18 who are taken out of crisis situations. These backpacks are donated to several agencies around the Omaha metro. In addition to hygiene products, these backpacks also include items such as stuffed animals, blankets and activities, which help to boost children’s spirits during challenging times.  

The Junior League of Omaha is proud that this project has come full circle and that so many members have seen Project Hope Pack from its inception to the community launch to the Service Board of CASA of Douglas County, which will take place in May 2019.

The 2018-2019 League year has been filled with launch milestones, such as a complete move of products from our inventory to CASA. All of our project shifts now take place at CASA, located at 2412 St. Mary’s Avenue in Omaha.

The CASA Service Board members have been paired with PHP committee members to ensure a smooth transition. So far, we have distributed 620 backpacks to organizations such as Project Harmony, Youth Emergency Services, Partnership 4 Kids, Lutheran Family Services, Completely Kids, Heart Ministry, Boys Town and more!

The committee looks forward to  the continued success of Project Hope Pack through the hard work and volunteerism of CASA Douglas County Service Members!

Project Hope Pack Fall 2018
Project Hope Pack Committee Members

Bargain Shoppers Triumph at Bargain Bash 2018!

Omaha’s 2nd Annual blowout rummage sale, The Bargain Bash, kicked off on August 24, 2018. This year’s event was a huge success, not only regarding League participation but also community engagement and returning shoppers from last year’s event. Over the three days the sale was running, including sorting and setup on Wednesday and Thursday, 50 volunteers helped set the stage for record crowds on Saturday, August 25, when the sale opened to the public.

“At the start of the bash on the first day, there was a line of people waiting that led out the door,” said Macey Morgan, Bargain Bash Inventory and Pick- Up Coordinator, “Many of the attendees were excited when they received their Borsheim’s bag for shopping, and we believe it encouraged them to purchase more as they shopped!”

The sale couldn’t have been as big of a success without all the donations from new, active, and sustaining members.  The more than 3,500 items donated, included home goods, clothing, kitchen appliances, decor and even a tanning bed.

“Not only were we able to impact the community through our sales, but we partnered with other non-profits who collected our leftover items,” Morgan explained, “This partnership with other non-profit groups helps the league continue to lend a helping hand in our community. Overall the event grossed an amazing profit to help the League continue to impact the community with our projects and league engagement. Nothing could have been possible without the committee and commitment. A huge shout out goes to the entire committee for their hard work and for making it genuinely fun!”

IMG_0581

Omaha Gives – A 24 Hour Celebration of Community!

Spring has sprung! As with each passing season we take time to reflect on the past and to put new (or revised) goals towards the future. Whether it is personal, professional, or both, we look to not only better ourselves but our community. With Omaha Gives coming up May 20th, this is no exception. We are excited to participate this year and we’re asking for your help! We have never hesitated to step up and meet our community needs – through our own projects!

Connecting with Community - Omaha Gives

Book of My Own – collect, sort and distribute new and gently used books to at-risk children ages 0-14.

Project Hope Pack – partner with local child advocacy agencies, homeless shelters, community development agencies and churches that play a role in moving children out of crisis situations. Our Packs include items to cover a 3-5 day transition period, easing trauma and providing some comfort for a child as they move to a safe, yet unfamiliar, environment.

Career Development Series – provide several seminars (per year) which are aimed in helping women, community-wide, learn leadership and management skills to reach their goals.

Done-In-A-Day – a series of concentrated projects that offer volunteers for community-based placements on a short term basis.

Because you believe in the Junior League of Omaha, you make this possible. Your gifts allow our projects to succeed and we couldn’t do it without you. Please consider Junior League during this 24 hour fundraising event, schedule your gift today or donate on May 20th!

Done-In-A-Day at the Rose Theater

The Rose Theater is home to the Omaha Theater Company. In 1948, Junior League of Omaha members alongside Emmy Gifford were inspired to start a theater for young audiences in Omaha and one year later, the Omaha Junior Theater was born. The League was instrumental in growing the Omaha Junior Theater, one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the United States. In 1970, the Junior League of Omaha(JLO) pledged money for a Cultural Education Series to be produced for Omaha schools in cooperation with the Omaha Junior Theater, the Omaha Ballet Association and the Nebraska Arts Council. During the 1980s, JLO approved community activities and a new project for the theater company. Over the years, the Omaha Junior Theater grew – it was renamed Emmy Gifford Children’s Theater in 1977 and again renamed The Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center in 1993. The Omaha Theater Company first staged a production at The Rose Theater in 1995. In 1998, in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the JLO, the League approved a grant to its past project – the Omaha Theater for Young People – now the Rose. This grant was a joint effort with the Junior League of Omaha Foundation, which contributed toward the grant. The relationship between JLO and The Rose continues. Many League members, past and present, have served on The Rose Theater’s Guild. Continue reading “Done-In-A-Day at the Rose Theater”

An Interview with Penny Parker

Tell us a little bit about your current position with Completely Kids and the role Completely KIDS plays in the community. 

I have been the Executive Director of Completely KIDS for 23 years. Our agency plays a critical role in providing after school and family strengthening programs for some of our community’s poorest families. We operate in seven inner city OPS schools, the Completely KIDS building and three homeless shelters.

completly kids

How has A Book of My Own (ABOMO) worked with Completely KIDS in the past?

The donations that we have received from ABOMO have been critical to our reading program by providing resources for our program staff and books for the children to take home. Many of the children do not have books at home so it means a great deal to them. The distribution has been to all of our elementary programs and most recently to one of the our middle school programs. Continue reading “An Interview with Penny Parker”

Connecting the Community – Done-In-A-Day is Back

Seeds We’ve Sown: Done-In-A-Day is Back

Done-In-A-Day is a former Junior League of Omaha project that is being reborn this year.  The goal of this new project is to get in touch with organizations that JLO has worked with in its storied history, exposing members to these organizations, and getting project shifts done in a day!  This mission is two-fold.  First, it reconnects JLO with partners from the League’s past to celebrate the League’s contributions to the Omaha community as JLO approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2019.  Second, it allows members to interact and learn more about these great organizations while performing community service.  This year, Done-In-A-Day has scheduled project shifts with the Visiting Nurses Association, Rainbow House with Children’s Hospital, the Omaha Symphony, Fontenelle Forest, the Rose Theater, and more.

Done-In-A-Day Chair Joey Gaines is the member responsible for bringing this great project back to the League.  As a first year active, I am blown away by Joey’s dedication to JLO, initiative to rejuvenate a past project, and sheer excitement about the whole thing.  I decided the best way to introduce this great project was to speak to the project’s fearless leader herself. Continue reading “Connecting the Community – Done-In-A-Day is Back”

Connecting the Community…Omaha Symphony

Junior League Lends a Helping Hand to the Omaha Symphony

Omaha Symphony 2 (1)

 

Each fall, the Omaha Symphony presents its family-favorite Symphony Spooktacular concert with a host of appearances from area artists and organizations for a symphonic celebration of everything Halloween!  This past October, the Omaha Symphony was joined by volunteers from the Junior League, who dedicated their time and talent to assist the symphony in the mounting of what has quickly become an Omaha Symphony Halloween tradition with area families. Throughout the day, volunteers from the Junior League donated their time to “spookify” the Holland Performing Arts Center lobbies, guide children in Halloween and music-themed lobby activities, and most importantly, distribute trick-or-treat treasures donated by Oriental Trading Company. The Omaha Symphony would like to extend a gracious, well-deserved “Thank You” to the Junior League and all of the volunteers who helped to make Symphony Spooktacular a truly fun and memorable concert!

Connection Contributor - Brannon Fells

Connecting the Community…Project Hope Pack Collections

Every year my office, The Asthma and Allergy Center in Bellevue, chooses a different local charity to support through a holiday drive. In the past we have donated to the Siena-Francis House, Heartland Family Services, and the Wounded Warrior Project among others. This year, we chose to collect items for Project Hope Pack.

As a New Member of the Junior League of Omaha, I have spent my year learning all about the good the Junior League accomplishes for our community. While all of our projects are worthwhile, Project Hope Pack holds a special place in my heart. My first ever project shift was a PHP inventory shift; it was the first time I ever got to see the specific need the  League addresses in our area. It was also the first time I felt I had a grasp on what the organization was all about. Until that point, it had mostly been socials, a fair amount of wine, and learning the basics of the group. I only truly understood what a great difference the Junior League makes at that project shift. So, it was only natural that when my work’s annual holiday effort rolled around that I would think of PHP. I’m so honored to be a part of an organization that promotes philanthropy and promotes it so well. And I’m lucky that I have supportive coworkers who were willing to learn about the League, and chose Project Hope Pack as our holiday drive beneficiary.

Connection Contributor - Katy Spratte

Junior League and Children’s Hospital

The Junior League of Omaha has many strong roots at Children’s Hospital including beginning the Children’s Memorial Hospital Hospitality Gift Shop through their tireless efforts back in 1948. After the league began this program, the turned it over to the Friends of Children’s in 1956 and the hospital gift shop continues to thrive today and serve as a source of income to assist in many hospital programs and services.

Continue reading “Junior League and Children’s Hospital”