The following are fundraisers, donations and other charitable events or opportunities happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-444-1040.
Taking applications: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will host a free recruitment event Monday for potential Big Brothers and Big Couples to talk to current volunteers and staff members to learn about volunteering. The 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. football party will be at D.J.'s Dugout west, 114th Street and West Dodge Road.
Making strides: The Peru State College cheerleaders, in partnership with the Tony and Karen Barrett family of Nebraska City, will host two walks Monday to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation. Times for the "Think Positive Walk for Epilepsy" will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Al Wheeler Activity Center on campus. There is no registration fee and pre-registration is not required. Free-will donations will be accepted.
Give and take: The American Red Cross is thanking those who help patients in need by offering presenting donors a voucher for a pumpkin pie at special blood drives during Thanksgiving week. Omaha-area blood drives will run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Baker's Supermarket, 17370 Lakeside Hills Plaza in Omaha; Baker's at 13250 West Maple Road in Omaha; and Baker's at 3614 Twin Creek in Bellevue. Baker's will give presenting donors a free pumpkin pie. In Lincoln, blood drives will run from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Russ's Markets at 130 N. 66th St., 2840 S. 70th St. and 33rd Street and Nebraska Highway 2. Russ's will give presenting donors a free mini pumpkin pie. To make an appointment, call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.
Gobble, gobble: On Thanksgiving Day, the Salvation Army will sponsor its 18th annual TurkeyFest at Kroc Center. TurkeyFest provides a free Thanksgiving dinner to those who would otherwise have none. More than 300 volunteers will deliver turkey dinners to about 1,400 Omaha Housing Authority residents, homebound elderly and the near-homeless in the metro area. Groups volunteering to deliver are from the Knights of Columbus and Telephone Pioneers.
Books, please: Starting Friday, the Douglas County Juvenile Justice System will collect books for the county's Youth Center library, which is being renovated. The goal is to gather enough books that each youth leaving the center can take a book along. Needed are new or gently used books for reading levels from fifth grade through 12th grade. Drop-off times and locations are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Youth Center, 1301 S. 41st St.; 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays at Project Harmony, 11949 Q St.; and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at Youth Links, 815 Dorcas St. The drive will end Dec. 16.
Time to vote: This year's Missouri River flood devastated Gifford Farm Education Center. Faced with the task of rebuilding, the center entered the Pepsi Challenge and has reached the final stage in a quest for $50,000. The money will go toward building a new barn. The public can make this happen by voting for Gifford Farm. Text 109946 to Pepsi (73774) to vote from your mobile device (standard text messaging rates apply) or visit refresheverything.com. You can vote every day through Nov. 30. More than 30,000 area students and families visit the farm each year.
Men's health: Throughout November, a group of Creighton University physical therapy students is participating in Movember. It's an organization that raises awareness as well as money to benefit prostate-testicular cancer and men's health in general. Each "Mo Bro" participating in Movember starts clean shaven Nov. 1 and grows a mustache throughout the month, getting sponsors to donate.
Food drive: Through Dec. 31, Sears Hometown Stores nationwide are holding food drives to benefit their community and charitable organizations. There are numerous Nebraska and western Iowa Sears Hometown Stores, including one in Bellevue. To find the closest store, visit searshometownstores.com.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax