|  Forecast »

Covid19 Updates for Our Community!

UPDATE your event details quickly & easily on our COMMUNITY CALENDAR page at metroMAGAZINE's SpiritofOmaha.com 
This allows us to keep your followers and supporters informed about your response to Covid-19! 



Covid 19 Tips & Resources:

Omaha Gives! Breaks Records as over 23,000 Donors Respond with Overwhelming Generosity to Urgent Nonprofit Needs 

The online giving day hosted by the Omaha Community Foundation raised more than $8.5 million in its 8th year, for a total of $58 million for local nonprofits since the giving day began in 2013 
Three records were broken as 23,375 individuals gave a total 65,160 donations to 1,010 nonprofits during the eighth annual Omaha Gives yesterday. In total, this year’s 24-hour online giving day, presented by American National Bank, raised $8.5 million. The total number of donations, donors, and nonprofits outpaced every other year since the giving day began in 2013. 
Omaha Gives! has now raised more than $58 million from a cumulative 365,224 donations for nonprofit organizations throughout Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties since it launched. This year’s total came close to the record set in 2016 of $8.9 million and surpassed the last three year’s donation totals. 
“This year’s Omaha Gives was unlike any other; donors truly responded to the unprecedented needs of nonprofits at a time that is more urgent than ever due to the impact of COVID-19. The 2020 Omaha Gives is a testament to the strength, resiliency, and generosity of this region. The community responded with a record number of donations, 34% more than the prior record, and topped the last three years of giving. It’s truly amazing.” said Donna Kush, Omaha Community Foundation President and CEO. “Yesterday our entire community came together to support more than one thousand local nonprofits. It was a day of connection, caring, and celebration for all, but especially for the nonprofits who needed this infusion of funding as they face unprecedented impact to their budgets and operations right now. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone in this community who gave, for the hard work of our partners throughout the last few weeks, and especially to our nonprofit community for making the eighth Omaha Gives a resounding success.” 
This spring, the 24-hour online giving day adapted to the impact of COVID-19; while much felt the same, the urgent needs of the local nonprofit community were highlighted throughout the event; special “COVID-19 Alert boxes” on nonprofits’ individual pages alerted donors of needs related to the pandemic, and there was an option for anyone to give to the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. In total, $141,020 was donated from 5,117 individuals to the Response Fund which has already granted more than $1 million to provide food, assistance with rent or mortgages, paying utilities and providing health care and mental health services. 
This year $112,000 in prizes were given out to participating nonprofits. One hundred and twelve prizes of $1,000 each amplified the money organizations raised from individual donors; nonprofits could win random hourly drawings or participation prizes based on the number of unique donors who gave to their organization. Complete leaderboard results with the number of donors, donation totals, and prizes awarded for each organization can be found here. 
In addition to winning prizes, a record 80 nonprofits increased their giving totals by utilizing dollar-for-dollar matching Challenge Funds secured from individual donors. Together, these organizations pledged more than $890,850 in matching funds—another new record. 


Turn a New Page
Omaha Public Library is now offering curbside pick-up for library materials at five locations across the metro. Patrons may borrow books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and other items. 

For Women and Girls
During a pandemic, issues impacting women and girls are compounded. Women’s Fund of Omaha has compiled information on its website listing resources to support economic security, freedom from violence and other concerns.
Data Dive
The New York Times is engaged in a comprehensive effort to track and make public the details of COVID-19 in the United States, collecting information from federal, state and local officials around the clock and updating its website several times a day.

Virtual Lincoln Field Trip

Kids can visit the Nebraska State Capitol building, explore the Nebraska History Museum, learn about the animals at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, and check out the Lincoln Children’s Museum…all from home.

Medical Guidance for Parents
If you are concerned about a potential exposure or think your child may be displaying symptoms, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has established both a COVID-19 Help Line at (402) 955-3200 and an online assessment tool to supplement it. Both are available around the clock, seven days a week.

Alumni Virtual Lunch & Learn: UNMC & A Covid-19 Vaccine
Beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, Dr. Andre Kalil will lead a 90-minute discussion on the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s role in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine. Watch the livestream on Facebook @UNOAlumni or watch a video of any of the virtual presentations in the COVID-19 series online (link below):

Business and Workforce
Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development has provided links to local, state and national resources to inform and assist businesses during the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The site also provides links to pertinent Nebraska state agencies including the Department of Labor and the Department of Insurance.
Outdoors Online
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provides numerous lesson plans, slideshows and videos on conservation, wildlife and related topics that encourage families to not just learn about the great outdoors, but also get outside and explore. 

Reaching Out for Help
Isolation and uncertainty can exacerbate anxiety and depression, but help is only a phone call away. The Boys Town National Hotline (800-448-3000) is a 24/7, free resource and counseling service staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors. Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services for more than 100 languages also are available, and the speech- and hearing-impaired can reach out via email: hotline@boystown.org.

When in Doubt
When the rumor mill is running fast and furious, it can be challenging to find credible sources that will either support or debunk information. Here are some websites that research the rumors and trace their origins, and help determine what is truth, falsehood and half-truth.

Information Line

Nebraska Volunteers, a project of Nebraska Impact, lists numerous opportunities for you to give the gift of your time to organizations who need volunteers. Visit the website to see what you can do from home, explore what onsite activities are possible through social distancing and protective practices, or even consider future opportunities.

City of Omaha Information
The City of Omaha’s website provides updated information from the City of Omaha, Douglas County and the State of Nebraska to keep you informed, including the latest Directed Health Measure (DHM) orders from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The site also lists resources for medical question and daily news updates from the city, county and state.

CDC Scene
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have an easily navigable web portal to find out how to protect yourself from COVID-19, what to do if you think you may be sick, how to care for someone who’s been diagnosed but does not need to be hospitalized, and other medical guidance during the pandemic.

Adapting Your Small Business
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting small businesses and the self-employed as much as large corporations and organizations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed the web-based Coronavirus Small Business Guide to connect you to resources and information to help you navigate everything from applying for aid to developing a getting-back-to-business plan.



Get Assessed
Nebraskans and Iowans are being asked to take an online assessment provided on the TestNebraska and TestIowa websites to help identify cases of COVID-19 in the state. After taking the assessment, participants who fit the criteria will be notified via phone or email that they qualify to be tested for COVID-19.

True or False?
With so much information surrounding us, it can be hard to separate truth from myth. Check your COVID-19 knowledge with this online quiz from Nebraska Medicine.

Make a Difference
Your spare time can be a difference-maker to nonprofits whose resources are stretched thin during this crisis. Volunteer Match can help you connect with local, from-home opportunities to do good for others.

Information Line

Looking for answers to general questions and the latest information and resources for Nebraska? Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services has a COVID-19 information line you can call toll-free. (833) 998-2275 is open  seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Supporting and Strengthening Families
The College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska - ­Lincoln, together with UNL’s Child, Youth and Families Studies and the Trauma and Resilience Explored Lab, created a web page to provide ideas and activities that support and strengthen families. Other resources, as well as suggestions for how to help others, are also included.

Fun Activities with Lauritzen Gardens
Lauritzen Gardens is closed through May 15, but you can play Spring Bingo, learn about our Feathered Friends or enjoy a Garden Magic lesson online. Find these and other activities on Lauritzen Gardens’ website. 

SBA Paycheck Protection Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed accepting PPP loan applications and is encouraging eligible borrowers who need these funds to work with an approved lender to apply, and to carefully review PPP regulations and guidance along with the certifications required to obtain a loan.

Make History
The Durham Museum is inviting Omahans to document this time by collecting stories and objects related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it’s hard to believe current events will one day be merely memories, it is important to preserve experiences at the time they happen so that details are not lost. Visit the museum’s website to find out how you can share. 

Supporting Local Nonprofits

Omaha Gives! 2020 Giving Day is only three weeks away! Through an easy online platform, you can support your favorite nonprofits in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties. You can also contribute to The Omaha Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which helps organizations that serve communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and its economic consequences.

Keeping Your Employees Safe

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a guide for employers to protect their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic covering everything from creating communication plans to safety equipment and procedures to reduce workers’ risk of exposure.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

The Kim Foundation recognizes that people may be feeling overwhelming stress and anxiety in response to current events. The organization, which embraces the importance of quality mental health services, has compiled a special page on its website listing comprehensive information and community support resources.

Statistical Projections

With primary support provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the state of Washington, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) launched in 2007 with the goal of providing an impartial, evidence-based picture of global health trends to inform the work of policymakers, researchers and funders. Link below to see USA data, which also includes a drop-down menu to view statistics by state.

Webinars for All Ages

Of course Omaha’s technology library has been able to shift to a temporary all-online platform while people are staying at home. Check out Do Space’s event calendar to find out how you can upgrade your technical know-how or learn new skills.

Read On
Even if you can’t bring home a big stack of books, local libraries are still offering a variety of online services from access to e-books to virtual storytimes. Visit online to see what your local branch has to offer.



Party for the Planet

Earth Day activities are taking place all week long, so why not party for the planet virtually? Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating now through Saturday. Join the fun online!

Psychological Wellness Resources
The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) partners with Best Care Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide support to NAM members. Visit the Best Care EAP website for information on coping with the emotional burden caused by the pandemic. There’s also a COVID Counseling help line open to everyone.

Volunteer from Home

If you have time to spare, local nonprofits can use your help. Find out how you can volunteer from home and make a difference for the community—you might not even have to leave your couch!

Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

The Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in response to COVID-19. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these challenging times. The SBA offers guidelines to protect yourself from grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Virtually Visit Omaha’s Attractions

Omaha’s attractions are coming to you! Create magic with the children’s museum, visit the forest, listen to the symphony, take a tour of an art exhibit, or help create a work of art for one of the city’s most unique galleries from the safety and comfort of home.

Activities for Kids

A local resource for family-friendly activities and events is now providing information on activities parents and kids can enjoy at home or outdoors, from Chalk Your Walk Wednesdays to fun and easy crafts.

Track the Stats

The amount of data generated around COVID-19 can be overwhelming. Here are some online resources that include local, up-to-date statistics and also provide visual tools to help you understand them.
Sarpy/Cass COVID-19 Dashboard
(data source: Sarpy/Cass Health Department):
Douglas County COVID-19 Dashboard
(data source: Douglas County Health Department):

46th annual Omaha Summer Arts Festival – Gone Virtual

Omaha Summer Arts Festival 


Due to the current COVID-19 crisis,the 46th annual Omaha Summer Arts Festival has GONE VIRTUAL! Celebrate OSAF’s 46th year online for a one-day community celebration where viewers may expect an interactive artists’ gallery for shopping, live-streamed music, recipes from food vendors, short videos of hands-on crafts for families and kids and more. For additional details visit website. 

Subscribe to the OSAF YouTube Channel  Follow OSAF on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Free    402-841-2560    www.summerarts.org



University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine are encouraging Nebraskans to wear red every Friday to show support for healthcare workers. Use the social media hashtag #WearRedBeProudNE and change your Facebook frame by visiting the Profile Frames shortcut and searching for “UNMC House Officer’s Association” to tag your profile image.
Grab-and-Go Meals for Schoolchildren
To help ease the financial burden for families experiencing economic hardship during the pandemic, local school districts are providing meal assistance for students. For more information, visit your school district’s website:
Bellevue Public Schools
Mental Health Resources
If your sense of well-being is being strongly affected by concerns about the current pandemic, the national nonprofit Mental Health America has assembled numerous sources for assistance, all accessible through the organization’s website. 
Flatten the Curve in Nebraska
Stay abreast of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service’srecommendations for actions you can take to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Link below. 
Data Visualization

An associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois created an interactive data visualization using up-to-the-day COVID-19 statistics. See how Nebraska compares to other states and how the U.S. compares to other nations using the link below.
COVID-19 Community Response Funds in Nebraska and western Iowa

The Nebraska Impact COVID19 Relief Fund is a partnership between Nebraska Impact, the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and the Office of Governor Pete Ricketts. The fund, which will be managed by the leadership of these entities, will provide direct aid to communities and organizations working to mitigate the impact of the COVID19 outbreak across Nebraska.

As a philanthropic solution, the Southwest Iowa COVID-19 Response unmet needs fund is currently accepting donations to help support our nonprofit partners who are on the front line of mitigating needs around the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Omaha Community Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide flexible resources to organizations in the metro area working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Any individual can donate to the fund online.


Need Assistance?

If you are looking for immediate assistance in finding a food pantry, paying a utility bill, accessing safe housing or shelter, receiving counseling services and more, United Way of the Midlands’ 211 service connects people to helpful resources.

Dial or text 211, available 24/7, or find out more online.

COVID-19 Response Fund

Together with several local foundations, the Omaha Community Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide flexible resources to organizations in the metro area working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.


Nonprofits and Federal 
Coronavirus Relief Bills

Nonprofit Association of the Midlands has assembled multiple resources to help nonprofits understand what aid is available and how to access it. Visit the NAM website for links to webinars, articles and other information.


Omaha Children’s Museum

While Omaha Children's Museum is closed to the public, the staff at the museum are busy creating online videos based on familiar programs and characters to keep young children engaged. Short videos are shared daily each morning on the museum's Facebook page and cover a variety of topics for children of all ages. Printable activity sheets can also be downloaded at the museum’s website.


Opera Omaha Hosts
Virtual Prelude Talks

Opera Omaha has launched a new series of online activities and events, including Virtual Prelude Talks, aligned with the Metropolitan Opera’s free nightly streaming service.  Joined by a consortium of opera companies, free 20-minute talks will be presented via Facebook Live and feature speakers from around the country providing insight and context just before each Sunday evening’s Met HD opera. For more information, visit Opera Omaha’s Facebook page or website.

Grief’s Journey Online

Grief’s Journey is offering free online trainings and webinars exploring grief reactions and styles, common reactions to the COVID-19 experience, “ambiguous” grief, and self-care practices. For more information or to register, visit Grief’s Journey’s website or call (402) 502-2773.


Guide to Disaster Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Get a guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the link below:

Omaha Meal Delivery


   Current Edition: metroMAGAZINE   The Giving Guide & Event Book!   101 Things to Love about the metro™!
Adding & editing your event details quickly & easily on our 
COMMUNITY CALENDAR page at metroMAGAZINE's SpiritofOmaha.com 
allows us to promote and cover your important events and agenda all year round! 


Please refer to the following weblink to ensure that we maximize your PRE & POST event promotion:

Digital Editions:




metroMAGAZINE's Current Issue


101 THINGS to LOVE about the metro™:

101 Things to Love about the metro™!



The Giving Guide & Event Book