"We are fortunate to have many wonderful non-profit organizations in the Omaha community that are actively working to improve the lives of individuals and families here. The Mutual of Omaha Foundation strives to be a partner in their missions by funding programs that address what we have found to be among the most critical needs in the community," said Christine Johnson, president of the Mutual of Omaha Foundation.
These critical issues include: behavioral health, youth violence, domestic abuse, early childhood education, preparedness for graduation, literacy/language, financial literacy, food and shelter.
As an example of the Foundation's first quarter funding, Johnson highlighted a $15,000 grant to CASA's (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Children's Services Project, which addresses the critical issue of domestic abuse.
CASA provides trained citizen volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to represent one child or sibling group at a time until the child is placed in a safe, nurturing and permanent home.
According to Nancy Wilson, executive director of CASA for Douglas County, CASA's "one on one" approach allows volunteers to get to know the children better in order to voice their needs in and out of the courtroom. There are on average 1,300 children in foster care in Douglas County with more than 100 children waiting for a CASA volunteer. "The support of the Mutual of Omaha Foundation allows CASA to significantly reduce the waiting list by recruiting more volunteers to serve more of these child victims who desperately need a consistent advocate," Wilson said.
In addition to CASA, the Mutual of Omaha Foundation provided funding in the first quarter to the following organizations:
|Building Bright Futures||$10,000||Intensive Academic Support for Pregnant & Parenting Teens|
|Catholic Charities||$25,000||General Operating Support|
|Chicano Awareness Center, Inc.||$5,000||Adult Education for Latinos|
|Good News Bears Club of Omaha, Inc.||$5,000||Inner City Kids Club|
|Habitat for Humanity||$50,000||General Operating Support|
|Heartland Family Service||$25,000||General Operating Support|
|Junior Achievement||$10,000||Elementary School Program|
|Madonna School||$5,000||General Operating Support|
|Metropolitan Community College||$27,500||Transition Education Centers|
|Mosaic Community Development (inCOMMON Community Development)||$5,000||Park Avenue Community Center|
|University of Nebraska Foundation||$25,000||UNL Actuarial Science Education|
|Visiting Nurse Association||$25,000||Shelter Nursing Program|
This list along with descriptions of each project can be found on the Foundation's Web site.
Requests for applications for the second quarter of 2011 will be accepted online through Feb. 15. To apply for funding or for more information, including and explanation of each critical issue and funding requirements, organizations may visit the Foundation's Web site.
The Mutual of Omaha Foundation was established in 2005 to continue the company's longstanding tradition of supporting efforts that impact individuals and families throughout the community. Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance and financial services products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States. For more information about Mutual of Omaha, visit www.mutualofomaha.com.