Getting engaged in our community; doing our part to serve, elevate and enhance the lives of others. It’s just one way we make a mark – instead of simply making do. Maybe that looks like mentoring a child at the Hope Center for Kids, serving as an ambassador with Omaha Performing Arts or volunteering at a water stop during the Omaha Marathon.
Opportunities to engage abound and now, with the January launch of SHARE Omaha (SHAREomaha.org), it’s easier than ever to connect our desire to help with a need in our community.
“A small arts organization has an outstanding new board member. A museum has a new crew of construction volunteers to assist with installing new exhibits. A food pantry recruits more volunteers through SHARE Omaha in two months than its national volunteer recruitment sources have in five years,” says Executive Director Marjorie Maas.
Inclusive Communities and Omaha’s groundbreaking Tri-Faith Initiative are among the almost 350 nonprofits posting more than 500 volunteer opportunities on SHAREomaha.org.
“We have an incredible volunteer network,” says Maggie Wood, executive director of Inclusive Communities.
Formerly the National Conference of Christians and Jews, today’s Inclusive Communities has been confronting prejudice, bigotry and discrimination since a 1938 effort to boycott Jewish-owned businesses in Nebraska.
Alliances have formed and solidified over the years, including a partnership with the Tri-Faith Initiative – a push to foster empathy and understanding by intentionally co-locating Jewish, Christian and Muslim congregations on one campus. (The Tri-Faith Center, the campus’s fourth and final building, is expected to open in 2020.) Avenues of engagement include gathering, serving, learning and advocating.
“We want to create meaningful connections. We think that is a key to a better world,” says Uroosa Jawed, spokesman for the Tri-Faith Initiative.
Maas says nonprofits – the Tri-Faith Initiative, Inclusive Communities and so many more – are the backbone of the Omaha metro, and people here are hardwired to help. “Whether you give an hour of general service or offer your professional skills, your investment is a statement about what matters and how you desire your community to be,” she says.