The following are fundraisers, donations and charitable events happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to email@example.com or call 402-444-1040.
Visitors bearing gifts: Troops representing the Fightin' 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base visited Children's Hospital & Medical Center on Wednesday to deliver stuffed animals to hospital patients. The Air Force Sergeants Association raised $1,000 in donations to purchase the animals. The toys were shared one-on-one with the children during visits to their hospital rooms.
A time to help: The United Way of the Midlands kicked off its “Holiday Helpers” volunteer effort recently when 26 members of the Meyer family — ages 5 to 95 — made Christmas ornaments and table decorations, worked in the kitchen and painted with children at the Micah House Shelter in Council Bluffs. For the second year, the Meyer family gave back to others as part of its annual family reunion. Relatives from Iowa, Minnesota, California, Washington and the Omaha metro area volunteered. Individuals, families and other groups can learn more about “Holiday Helpers” at unitedwaymidlands.org/2013holidayhelpers. The United Way posts available holiday-related volunteer projects offered at local nonprofits and civic organizations. Register at the site. Available projects remain posted through Dec. 31.
In his memory: The Robert Morris Memorial Chili Feed and Silent Auction will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Omaha Burke High School, 12200 Burke St. The chili dinner costs $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for those younger than 3. Dinner includes chili, dinner roll and corn bread. Hot dogs and wings will be sold separately. Also look for a bake sale and a raffle. Morris was 36 when he died unexpectedly Sept. 22. His wife, Stacy, and their five children survive him. Robert Morris owned a small business and was the sole provider in the household. Proceeds from the benefit will help offset the medical and funeral costs.
Thanksgiving dinner: Catholic Charities and nearly 100 volunteers from several organizations will provide 300 dinner baskets this Thanksgiving to needy families in the Omaha area. Each basket includes a turkey entree, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables, canned fruits, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin-pie filling and stuffing. The baskets were assembled Thursday through Saturday and will be distributed Monday and Tuesday.
Bake sale: The Gretna Optimist Club will have a bake sale from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday or while supplies last. The sale will take place at McKinney's Food Center, 215 Enterprise Drive in Gretna. All proceeds will go to the Optimist Club's various youth programs.
Bread and soup: The Tea Smith will serve lunch free Friday and Saturday and donate to the Siena-Francis House for each customer. Patrons also can donate to the shelter during the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. meal of homemade soup and bread donated by the Great Harvest Bread Co. The offer is good at the Tea Smith stores at 345 N. 78th St. in Tower Plaza and 1118 Howard St. in the Old Market.
Pass the syrup: A fundraiser for Beth Willson will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethel Lutheran Church's Pilgrim Hall, 1312 S. 45th St. Expect the Pancake Guys serving pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice, as well as music and a raffle. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children 12 and younger, and free for ages 3 and younger. Willson has been diagnosed with probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare, incurable degenerative neurological disorder. She cannot be left alone. Proceeds will help pay for a caregiver while her husband, Jeff, is working.
WorldFest: The annual WorldFest festival will run from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lied Activity Center, 2700 Arboretum Drive in Bellevue. “WorldFest 2013: Christmas, Culture & Customs From Around the World” will feature live entertainment, vendors, hayrack rides and demonstrations of medieval craftwork, the last by members of the Medieval and Renaissance Society. Children can meet with Santa Claus and will get a free photo and a treat. Although WorldFest is free, it will accept contributions to Holiday Heroes, which takes underprivileged children on a shopping spree with Bellevue police officers and firefighters, and the Marines' Toys for Tots program, which collects new toys for distribution to needy children in the area.
Be an angel: Local band Hidden Agenda and M/C Mags For Military will join forces Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. for “The Angel Agenda” at the Loose Moose, 120th and Fort Streets. The public can be an angel for military members this holiday season by bringing donations from the wish list, which follows, and an angel — an ornament, figurine, etc., to let the troops know someone cares. Join in the fun with the “Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest.” Angel Agenda wish list: travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, travel-sized shaving cream, razors, baby wipes, deodorant, pocket-sized hand sanitizer, beef jerky, Slim Jims, granola bars, protein bars, gum, hard candy, single-serving drink mix, MIO drops, paperback books, puzzle books, magazines and playing cards. All items will be packed in U.S. Postal Service Priority shipping boxes and sent in time for Christmas.
Silent auction: Festival of Hope is the annual fundraiser for The Bridge, formerly known as the Crisis Center for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault, in Fremont, Neb. The silent auction began Saturday and will run through Dec. 7 at Abe Krasne Home Furnishings and Casual Lifestyle in Fremont. Krasne's hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays with Thursday hours until 9 p.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Book fair: Barnes & Noble will host a holiday book fair Dec. 1 to benefit the Douglas County Youth Center Library. Enjoy Grinch Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crossroads store, 7400 Dodge St. No. 325. Bring children to the area near the information desk for storytelling and crafts. Parents can shop with a percentage of designated sales going to the Douglas County Youth Center Library. At check-out, tell the staff member that you are supporting DCYC. The sale will continue online through Dec. 6 at BN.Com/bookfairs. Use Book Fair ID 1117372 when placing your order.
Holiday concert: Grace University's annual Festival of Christmas scholarship concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Joslyn Art Museum. Proceeds from the event will go to the university's scholarship fund. Music will be performed by the Grace University Chorale, Women's Choir, Chamber Singers, Concert Band and instrumental ensembles, as well as the Millard South High School Choir. Concert tickets are $10. Tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner and concert are $75 each. For tickets, visit GraceU.edu/christmas. Dinner tickets must be purchased by Dec. 2. Concert tickets will be available at the door.
Items needed: The Bellevue Senior Community Center, 109 W. 22nd Ave. in Bellevue, can always use: items to be used for Christmas presents for seniors at the annual Christmas party in December; sandwich, quart and gallon zipper-close plastic bags for food; bingo prizes; storage totes of all sizes; unopened jars of honey or jelly; and handmade and gently used home items to sell in the Nifty Nook Store. Donations are tax-deductible.
Help them be prepared: Since 2002, the Prepared Place has helped more than 300 men and women through its 46 apartments. The organization has helped 36 people a year find employment and 30 men and women reunite with their children. The Prepared Place program has a recidivism rate of less than 20 percent. To donate, visit hogcf.org or make checks payable to The Prepared Place and mail to: The Prepared Place, 3525 Evans St., Omaha, NE 68111.
Anti-bullying boost: The Anti-Defamation League's anti-bullying workshop last week at Metro Community College South Campus included Gordmans President and CEO Jeff Gordman donating $90,000 to ADL. The funds will help underwrite additional anti-bullying workshops in Omaha and in 19 states where Gordmans has stores. During the August back-to-school shopping season, Gordmans promoted ADL's No Place for Hate campaign in 90 of its stores nationwide. Gordmans' patrons could purchase “Helping Hands” for $1 each or more to support the initiative.
Evening to remember: The Hope Center for Kids served a Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday to Hope Center for Kids' children and their families. Children took turns sharing what they were thankful for while they ate dinner. Seventy volunteers prepared the feast.
Still giving: When Lincoln philanthropist Bert Boquet died last year at 96, he left a legacy of generosity and service to people in need. That devotion was evident Wednesday in the $30,000 he bequeathed to Black Hills Cares, the energy assistance program of Nebraska natural gas utility Black Hills Energy. Boquet's donation doubled to $60,000 because Black Hills Cares matched the funds and forwarded the total to HeatShare, the Salvation Army program that distributes emergency energy assistance to disabled, elderly and disadvantaged people who qualify.
Cemetery volunteers: The Bohemian Cemetery, 52nd and Center Streets, appreciates and recognizes the work of Boy Scouts in Troop 31. From August through November, troop members did community service projects at the cemetery, including cleanup and removal of dead and overgrown shrubbery and undergrowth, tree trimming, painting of water faucets, creation and installation of section markers (the Eagle Scout project of Patrick McPeck), and replacement of the flagpole and relandscaping around the veterans memorial monument (the Eagle Scout project of Max Kaye).
100th year: Hundreds of guests recently helped the University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Association celebrate its 100th anniversary and raise $30,000. UNO graduate Billy McGuigan entertained with his popular “Rock Legends” show. Guests included alumni, former UNO Chancellors Ron Roskens and Del Weber, current Chancellor John Christensen, NU Regent Bob Whitehouse, Nebraska first lady Sally Ganem, and UNO administrators, faculty and staff. Also attending was artist Jocelyn Russell, creator of the coming “Maverick Monument,” a bronze bull. The money raised will support the monument, which will be unveiled in the fall of 2014. The anniversary celebration on campus also included dinner and a soda fountain.