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United Way of South Central Nebraska looks ahead to 2021

Close to its campaign goal, and with money leftover in the response fund, there’s optimism to start the year
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 12:09 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - After a difficult and busy 2020, United Way of South Central Nebraska is reflecting back on the year while simultaneously looking at what’s next in 2021.

The organization was devoted to serving the communities in its four-county district; assisting many individuals, businesses and nonprofits through its holiday programs, annual campaign and Community Response Fund.

Executive Director Jodi Graves knows that this year, as with every year, is unpredictable, but is optimistic of what it could bring after seeing how the community stepped up and helped other people.

“We’re so grateful for the support,” Graves said. “Every time that we put out an ‘ask’ the community steps up and meets that and we’re just so thankful for that.”

The two big things United Way of SCNE is focused on in the early part of 2021 are reaching its campaign goal of $550,000 and continuing to assist nonprofits through its Community Response Fund, in partnership with the Hastings Community Foundation.

As of Monday, just over $500,000 has been raised to the campaign goal, putting the organization roughly $50,000 short of the goal. Graves doesn’t envision any issues in meeting that goal because, as mentioned, whenever the community is asked to help out it does.

As for the Community Response Fund, there is about $30,000 left after an initial $150,000 and Graves encourages people to keep applying to receive some of that funding because, as with everyone, she isn’t sure how long the current situation or struggles will persist.

The money from the annual campaign goes to help 19 partner agencies as well as individuals directly. In 2020, United Way directly impacted just over 25,500 individuals through its community work.

For the first quarter of this year Graves is looking forward to two large announcements that she says people should be equally excited about.

If you’re interested in applying for funding through the Community Response Fund you can do that here. If you’d like to donate to the annual campaign you can drop a donation off in-person at 301 South Burlington Avenue in Hastings, call (402) 461-8412 or visit the website here.

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