Agency for Change Challenge: The Inspiring Finalists
Last week, we announced the ten organizations that were chosen as finalists in the Agency for Change Challenge. As we’ve been reviewing each finalist’s entry and learning about all they are doing to create positive change in the world around us, we’ve been inspired!
Why keep all the details of this work to ourselves? Here’s a little peek into what each of these companies and organizations are doing to improve lives. (Just click on their name to visit their websites and learn even more.)
The Child Advocacy Center helps keep children safe from abuse. To do this, they work as part of a team with law enforcement, Health and Human Services, medical professionals, mental health providers and prosecutors. The Child Advocacy Center provides a safe, child-friendly location where these partners can conduct forensic interviews and medical evaluations for abused children in Southeast Nebraska. This makes the process far less stressful for children and also enables professionals involved with this very difficult job to learn from and support one another.
Child Saving Institute (CSI) provides a safe haven and healing for thousands of innocent young victims of family crisis, neglect and trauma. They offer vital services to create a safe place for at-risk children and to heal fractured families by working with pregnant women and young parents, foster and biological families with children of all ages and young adults transitioning to independence, to make sure all children are well cared for and loved.
Heartland Bike Share is changing individual lives and the larger community by helping to develop, promote and operate bike sharing programs throughout the Heartland region. In addition to improving health and quality of life for individuals, their efforts also make bikes more accessible to people. In communities, their programs contribute to promoting the use of sustainable forms of transportation, lowering pollution and mitigating climate change. Their three current bike share programs include Heartland B-cycle, BikeLNK and Valentine Bike Share.
The Lincoln Community Playhouse, a part of the Lincoln community since 1946, is about far more than entertainment. They aim to transform the lives of individuals and positively impact the community by providing the finest quality theater experience. In addition to their regular season productions, they also run a comprehensive outreach program, A Playhouse for Everyone. This outreach brings live theater to those with limited access to the opportunity at the Playhouse, including children with special needs, Title I school students and a senior theater group.
Humanities Nebraska was established as a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for Humanities in 1973. Over the decades, they’ve been living out their mission of bringing humanities programming and education to residents all across Nebraska. As a way to explore what connects us and makes us human, the organization has engaged in a wide array of activities, including management of a speaker’s bureau with nearly 300 humanities programs available; grantmaking to public humanities programs; innovative reading and writing programs, as well as lecture series and events.
The Omaha Children’s Museum is a special place where children can challenge themselves, discover how the world works and learn through play. It is Omaha’s primary participatory museum and provides a variety of hands-on exhibits, workshops, programs, presentations and special events that put children in touch with their ever-changing world. Their focus on educational programming helps children grow and develop beyond their home and school experiences. Currently, they are even engaging children through live video challenges and daily videos.
Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha is a welcome help for families during their most difficult and challenging times. They provide a home-away-from-home for families with a child who is receiving medical care in area facilities. This helps reduce the financial burden long out-of-town stays would create for families who are not local. Families find not only a place to sleep, do laundry and cook in friendly kitchens, but also play areas for siblings, and a built-in support system of other families with children experiencing medical challenges.
Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha was born out of a desire to adapt this 2,000-year-old beverage to fit modern tastes and lifestyles. They partnered with kombucha industry experts and biochemists to solve the riddle of how to brew a caffeine-free kombucha using fresh plants in their local Colorado wildscape and water from the Colorado snowmelts. Their Certified Organic, crisp and handcrafted drink is proving to traditionalists and newcomers alike that kombucha can be as delicious as it is good for you.
The Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation promotes post-secondary education by soliciting, awarding and managing scholarships for students in the region. These scholarships are supported by contributing individuals, businesses and organizations. Their fair and equitable selection process ensures that each scholarship is awarded to a deserving student, enabling them to pursue their goals and dreams and become a contributing member of the community.
The Set Me Free Project is devoted to bringing prevention education to youth and families to stop trafficking before it starts. They do this by providing knowledge on the importance of social media safety and human dignity. To help children and young adults stay safe, they equip youth, parents, and communities with information to keep them safe and help them understand their value. Their education focuses on topics such as trafficking prevention for 3rd through 12th grade students, warning signs and prevention for educators, social service providers and parents.
Here’s to all the important work being done by these ten changemaking organizations! Thank you for the energy and resources you’re putting into improving lives and the world around us.
Don’t miss out! We’ll be announcing the winner on August 6, so join us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to see who wins the $10,000 in marketing services to help them reach more people, do more good and advance their mission!