ServeNebraska Week 2017
April 23 – 29
Celebrating 150 Years of Nebraska Volunteerism
Volunteer. Make an Impact.
ServeNebraska Week is an annual statewide celebration of Nebraska's volunteer spirit, recognized through a week-long commitment to service. During April 23 - 29 (also National Volunteer Week), Nebraskans once again demonstrated their commitment to volunteerism by engaging in activities that directly benefited their communities, schools, nonprofits, churches, parks and other causes.
In 2017, a total of 750 Nebraskans lent their time and talent to support 55 service projects in 23 communities across the state. These activities ranged from relief to Lake McConaughy fire victims to appreciation packets for Vietnam Veterans on an honor flight to Washington, D.C., to enhancing little free library landscaping in Columbus, Nebraska, among others.
Below are reflections submitted by our dedicated volunteers and teams.
Nebraska History Museum Docents
"Our docents volunteer all year long. They are a group of dedicated people who love Nebraska's history and sharing their knowledge with visitors."
Judy Keetle, Lincoln
Lancaster 4-H Teen Council
"I had a great time participating in the Teen Council Community Service Project. Picking up trash around the Lancaster Extension Office was eye-opening in way that it made me realize the quantity of litter in our community. We ended up collecting 99 pounds of litter and 28 pounds of recycling! This experience emphasized the importance of protecting the environment. In the future I will definitely advocate for keeping our community clean!"
Tracey Anderson, Lincoln
After-school / Hospital Care and Community Clean-up
"College Possible participated in 10 different volunteer activities during ServeNebraska Week.
"I was involved in trash pickup at Gallagher Park for the City of Omaha. It was really nice to see how grateful the gentleman who delivered our trash bags and gloves was to have us volunteer at the park. Not only that, but we made the trash pick-up into a game, and the students loved it and were very motivated to picking up as much waste around the park as possible."
Sarah O'Neill, Omaha
Platte River Cosmopolitan Club
Diabetes Prevention and Cure
Outgoing governor Kellee Rasmussen speaks at the Cosmopolitan Cornbelt Federation Convention held in Grand Island April 21-22.
"A high school student spoke at our organization's luncheon and related his struggle both with diabetes and with public speaking. It "put a face" on what our organization raises money for."
Wendy McCarty, Grand Island
Lake McConaughy Fire Victims
"It was very touching to work together with people you do not know to help raise funds and provide for people who lost everything.
“There was a volunteer there helping who was one of the victims of the massive fire. We all were touched at how everyone came together as a community to help these people in need.”
Amy Pemberton, North Platte
Howard Elementary Run Club
"Our Howard Elementary Run Club picked up litter in the community of Grand Island. Around 40 kids, grades 3-5, and their families, along with the staff came together on a Saturday morning to pick up litter in parks and on streets in the Howard neighborhood."
Jason Wesemen, Grand Island
Major Isaac Sadler – La Belle Vue Daughters of the American Revolution
Patriotic Productions’ Honor Flight
"We helped prep the crowd for the return of [Vietnam Veteran Honor Flight attendees] by handing out donated yellow roses, welcome home signs and handheld U.S. flags...
“Each veteran was so appreciative of our taking the time to thank them, to recognize their service and volunteer during the weekend. . . . We came away from the experience very thankful to have had the opportunity to express our gratitude to each veteran; to hopefully help set right what should have been done 50 years ago."
Debra Miner, Bellevue
New Vision Homeless Services, Omaha
“It was so rewarding to see our own ServeNebraska commissioners getting into the spirit of serving others with the cleaning kits project during ServeNebraska Week.
“These kits were assembled following one of our quarterly commission meetings by present commissioners and Sally Ganem, former honorary commissioner and former first lady. All items included in the kits were donated by commissioners and delivered to New Vision Homeless Services for veterans in need.
“I am proud to represent this amazing group of commissioners who were appointed by Governor Ricketts because of their exemplary volunteer service to their respective communities across this great state.”
Diane Mallette, Fremont
UM4GI – Volunteers in Mission
Mulvane, Kansas, Flood Victims
"Once again our trip was a humbling experience. . . Homeowners were very appreciative of all we did. This has motivated them to get back to work and finish what we started so that they can use their entire home again.
“We had new volunteers with us this year and they were very glad they came. They couldn't believe all we did, not only the work that was done, but also the connections we made with the families. It was an emotional, as well as spiritual, experience."
Carla Maurer, Grand Island
UNO National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Autism Day at Children’s Museum
"The National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO NSSLHA/Collegiate Sertoma) volunteers frequently and our members are truly passionate about civil service.
“Working with ServeNebraska was an extra special opportunity as it allowed us to work with even more volunteers in our state and hopefully inspire others to do the same."
JoVanna Balquier, Omaha
Bertha Barber Elementary
Student Council Community Clean-up
"We stressed to the children the importance of caring about your community and helping others.
“We selected the student leaders to teach them about service. And we shared it with parents and students as our ‘Street Clean-Up’!"
Sue Fjelstad, Bellevue
Fremont High School
Track and Field Day
“This is my 44th year to work on results in the press box.
“My first few years they were typed on a typewriter and a ditto!”
Wanda Samson, Fremont
Special thanks to these ServeNebraska Week Sponsors!
Nebraska is 150. Give Back to Celebrate!
Here at ServeNebraska, we can think of no better way to celebrate Nebraska's 150th birthday than by giving back!
ServeNebraska Week was organized in coordination with NebraskaImpact.com, a new website launched as part of Nebraska's anniversary celebration. Recognizing and nurturing Nebraska's longstanding tradition of service to others, the website connects users with volunteer opportunities in their areas. It also allows volunteers to track their activities to help promote Nebraska as the No. 1 state in volunteerism and create a chain reaction of good will.