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Throughout the year, Omaha-area nonprofit organizations provide important services to our region. May has become a key fundraising time for these dedicated organizations through the Omaha Gives! campaign. This year’s donations will be particularly helpful, given the coronavirus emergency.

Some Omaha-area nonprofits help individuals in crisis — a teenager in emotional distress, for example, or an adult struggling with alcohol addiction. Other organizations provide needed health care — help for expectant mothers, or checkups for low-income individuals. Still others enrich our area through artistic performances or exhibits.

Residents can donate anytime of the year at the Omaha Gives! website at www.omahagives.org, and this year a 24-hour fundraiser is set for May 20. The annual fundraising campaign has generated $49 million over the past eight years.

Donations, at a minimum of $1, will be especially helpful now, because the virus crisis has forced many organizations to cancel events that have been important fundraisers in the past. More than one-third of the nonprofits in the Omaha area have reported a loss in operating income since the coronavirus erupted this year, said Donna Kush, executive director of the Omaha Community Foundation, the group that coordinates Omaha Gives!

At the same time, the virus emergency has spurred greater demands for services from many organizations. This year’s campaign includes a COVID-19 Response Fund, supporting local virus-related services.

The Omaha Gives website provides a search function that calls up profiles of hundreds of participating local nonprofits. People can search for a particular type of nonprofits, including food pantries, school foundations, higher education institutions, civic clubs, museums and houses of worship. Other nonprofits address needs such as health care, youth needs, mental health, conservation and animal needs. The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity is among those listed.

Donations to the Omaha Gives! campaign make possible needed care for individuals and programs that enrich our community. This month is a great time to give.

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