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Giving Tuesday sign on a picnic table outdoors

Giving Tuesday: Collective Actions Transform Communities 

November 28th marks Giving Tuesday 2023, an international celebration of the power of generosity. Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has been an annual reminder that everyone has something to contribute to building a better world for all. The generosity of others – whether it be their time, talent, money, and/or care – allows so many beautiful and vital things to happen around the world every day.  

“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson 

From disaster relief and veteran support to environmental protection and youth education and everything in between… generosity and collective action are powerful! I learned this at a young age through opportunities to volunteer and engage with organizations. That very concept is what inspired me to complete a master’s in public administration (MPA) and it is what drew me to serve as a nonprofit leader. Nonprofit organizations represent the collective interests and efforts of the community and transform the simple act of giving into hope, resources, opportunity, and support. When individuals work together toward a common goal, they can do amazing things. 

Share Omaha and Share Iowa help facilitate Giving Tuesday in the metro area, raising awareness to a host of organizations and causes you can support. There is a LOT of really great work being done in Greater Omaha and around the world, so how does one decide where to invest their attention? If you have the capacity to give this Giving Tuesday, consider an organization that echoes your values, acts with integrity, and truly transforms your giving into something more. 

I value equity, community, building healthy habits, access to wellness resources, and education and the Y is here for it all. By providing programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all, the YMCA of Greater Omaha transforms giving of all kinds into meaningful impact. 

  • Donations provided a mother with financial assistance, so her kids had a fun and safe place to be during Spring Break and she didn’t have to miss work. That’s workforce stability! 

  • Staff support and innovative partnerships helped grandparents take charge of their diabetic and heart health. Grandpa just ran in a marathon! 

  • Grant funds allowed elementary students in underserved communities to learn water safety skills and CPR procedures. Rule #1: Ask permission before getting in the water. 

  • Volunteers welcomed thousands for Healthy Kids Day by fitting helmets, leading fun activities, and teaching about safety. Families had a blast and learned many helpful health and safety tips. 

Through my MPA education, I learned about the importance of legitimacy and trustworthiness among public service and nonprofit organizations. To me, the YMCA of Greater Omaha stands out in the community. The Y has served generations of families for over 150 years, while supporting DEI work, professional development, and affordable, quality programs. In September of 2023, Charity Navigator released their annual nonprofit ratings awarding the YMCA of Greater Omaha a 98% four-star and “Give With Confidence” charity. The YMCA of Greater Omaha was also honored with the BBB Torch Award for Ethics for 2023.  

I am not just a Y leader. I am a Y member and program participant, a Y donor, and a Y volunteer. I give because I know my generosity is valued and powerful. YMCA of Greater Omaha’s Strong Communities Campaign transforms donations into opportunities for youth to learn socio-emotional skills in team sports, for cancer survivors to find support and regain endurance, for seniors to stay active and social, and so much more. 

For Giving Tuesday, I invite you to celebrate the power of generosity with me. Consider donating to a cause you value, an organization you trust, and impact that transforms community. 

Check out the YMCA of Greater Omaha’s profile on ShareOmaha and ShareIowa’s website and consider a gift to the Y this Giving Tuesday! 

Jennifer Johnson, YMCA of Greater Omaha - Mission Advancement Administrator 

Image of a YMCA employee

Meet Jennifer!

I joined the YMCA of Greater Omaha in October 2021 as the Mission Advancement Administrator where I co-lead our Strong Communities Campaign and fundraising events, aid with grants, collect impact stories and so much more. I recently finished my Master’s in Public Administration from UNO and also have a B.S. in Environmental Studies. As you might have noticed, my passions are community and environmental stewardship. I have a cat named Pippin (LOTR) and my boyfriend is a zookeeper. I enjoy hiking, playing board games, volunteering, and cooking.