The following are fundraisers, donations and other charitable events or opportunities happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to email@example.com or call 402-444-1040.
Dinner was served: Creighton's Freshman Leadership Program's annual Thanksgiving Dinner raised $2,245 to benefit Precious Memories, an Omaha nonprofit that serves roughly 100 children in the summer and 60 in the fall, spring and winter when school is in session. More than 197 people attended the event.
Keeping warm: The Omaha Fire Department, Mayflower and Rains Chimney Sweep are partnering with the Salvation Army for a "Winter Warm-up Coat Drive." From Wednesday through Jan. 13, donate new or gently used outerwear items at your neighborhood Omaha fire station. Items needed are coats of all sizes, gloves, mittens and hats.
Buy to give: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will benefit from Borsheims Fine Jewelry's Weekend of Giving. A percentage of store sales from Thursday through Dec. 4 will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
All month long: Rick's Cafe Boatyard, 345 Riverfront Drive, will have several December fundraisers that are open to the public. Funds raised will be used to provide a Christmas party, gifts, new clothing and more for the children at the Open Door Mission. The restaurant partners with Mangelsen's, Nobbies, Ibsen Costumes and United Rental. The first fundraiser will be Rick's Ladies' Night Out from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. The event will offer spa and salon services plus a Christmas boutique. Admission is a child's gift, hat, mittens or scarf. (Proceeds from vendor table rental will be used for the Dec. 18 Christmas party, lunch and pictures with Santa for Open Door Mission children.) Rick's also will offer a Saturday and Dec. 9 audience participation dinner-theater mystery, "Ho Ho Homicide." Admission is $20 a person plus food and beverages ordered. To be eligible for a drawing, bring unwrapped gifts, hat, scarf or mittens for a child. For more information, call 402-345-4545.
Crafts: The Elba (Neb.) Community Center will host a Christmas Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Also expect homemade soup and a bake sale. Proceeds will go to the center. The snow date will be Dec. 4.
Say cheeseburger: Saturday is the first of three days to have holiday portraits taken with Santa for a $10 donation to Goodfellows, The World-Herald's charity. Professional photographers at Rockbrook Camera at Legacy, 168th Street and West Center Road, will take photos from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8.
Jazz it up: Omaha Jazzercise Center, 8558 Park Drive, will have a holiday open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 with vendors, a bake sale and refreshments. There is no admission fee, but donations are requested for the Salvation Army.
Home tour: Five homes in Seward, Neb., will welcome guests from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 as part of the 17th annual Scholarship Parade of Homes. The parade, sponsored by Concordia University in Seward, raises scholarship dollars for Seward County high school seniors attending Concordia or Southeast Community College in Milford, Neb. Advance tickets, $10, can be reserved online at cune.edu/Christmas or purchased at Cattle National Bank and Trust, Jones National Bank and Trust, and Union Bank and Trust, all in Seward; and at Sister Act in Milford. Tickets, $12, may be purchased between noon and 2:30 p.m. on the day of the event at the main entrance of Seward High School and in the lobby of Weller Hall on the Concordia Campus.
Music for toys: Blues Society of Omaha's Holiday Party & Toy Drive for the children of the Pine Ridge Reservation will be Dec. 4 at 21st Saloon, 4737 S. 96th St. Doors will open at 2 p.m. and the music will start at 2:30 p.m. Cost: $10 cover; donations of new, unwrapped toys are appreciated. This event is open to the public.
Military children: Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree Inc. have joined forces again this holiday season to gather holiday gifts for military children in the Omaha area. The 10 Omaha area Dollar Tree stores will collect items through Dec. 6. Local military support groups will distribute the toys to military families and their children. Contributions can be made online at OperationHomefront.net.
Picture this: Omaha Benson High School teacher Jerred Zegelis and his beginning photography students seek donations to fund "Teen Voices Project," a large-scale community photography project. Zegelis needs to raise $10,000 by Dec. 16 to purchase cameras, tripods, lenses and other equipment for the class. The students will use the equipment to create photographic art for a semester. The class will focus on photographing the vibrancy of north Omaha, then creating and publishing a book of the images and showing hundreds of prints at a community art show. If the class can reach the donation goal, Zegelis plans to repeat the project every year. To learn more or to donate, contact Zegelis at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 402-557-3000.
Shine the Light on Hunger: ConAgra Foods' Shine the Light on Hunger campaign has set a goal for the first time in its five-year history. The communitywide goal is to raise 1 million meals to correspond with the 1 million lights on display as part of this year's Holiday Lights Festival. ConAgra again will open an ice rink on its campus for skaters to enjoy from Dec. 9 through New Year's Eve. For $5, which includes skate rental, skaters can enjoy the rink, with all proceeds benefiting Food Bank for the Heartland. The ConAgra Foods Foundation will match these donations up to $100,000. Marked collection bins will be set up throughout the community for donations of nonperishable food items and household goods. Cash donations can be made online at shinethelightonhunger.org.
Turkey experts: For more than 40 years, the men of Nat Hunter Lodge No. 12 Prince Hall Affiliation have specialized in preparing Thanksgiving dinner and serving it to residents of six Omaha Housing Authority towers. This year was no different. The men begin preparing food Tuesday at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple. On Thanksgiving Day, they served the 500-plus residents of Jackson, Evans, Florence, Benson, Underwood and Pine Towers.
Food baskets: In response to a growing number of requests for assistance this Thanksgiving, Mutual of Omaha employees assembled and delivered food baskets Tuesday to more than 275 local families. The baskets were filled with a week's worth of boxed and canned food plus grocery gift certificates for perishable items. Local agencies and nonprofits nominated families with significant financial needs to receive the baskets. More than $22,000 worth of food was delivered. This marks the 63rd year Mutual of Omaha employees have participated in the annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Project, sponsored by Mutual's HALO Club.
Holiday meal: Monday, 100 Lutheran Family Services client families received a turkey dinner and all the fixings, thanks to volunteers from the Immanuel Medical Center. The meals were distributed at the North Omaha Center for Healthy Families.
Computer power: Omaha Storm Chasers on Monday presented the Salvation Army with a $4,925 donation at the Salvation Army North Corps Community Center. The money will pay for computers.
Plenty to read: Midwest International Trade Association members, along with MainfreightUSA Book Program, donated more than 13,000 new books Wednesday to the Open Door Mission's Lydia House. MITA members collected the books at their annual Christmas party.
Jamboree: The 25th annual Bluejay Jamboree dinner and auction, the Creighton University athletics department's largest annual fundraiser, drew more than 500 people and raised more than $345,000. More than $20,000 was raised for a new Rev. Timothy R. Lannon endowed scholarship for male and female student athletes who are either a sophomore, junior, senior or fifth-year senior graduate student.
For the kids: A special version of Cowboy Bingo at WinnaVegas Casino Resort of Sloan, Iowa, recently raised more than $1,500 for Toys for Tots, the Marine Corps holiday toy program.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax