"We are seeing requests that show a continuous need to supplement education with support outside of school," said Christine Johnson, president of the Mutual of Omaha Foundation. "It's an indication that there are many children in our community who rely on nonprofit organizations to help them succeed in school - and we are fortunate to have so many organizations providing that support."
The Mutual of Omaha Foundation focuses its support on nine critical issues that 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 second quarter funding, Johnson highlighted a $25,000 grant to Girls Inc. for their GIRLStart Literacy Program, which addresses the critical issues of early childhood education and literacy/language.
According to Roberta Wilhelm, executive director of Girls Inc., girls living in low-income households do not have the means to supplement what they learn in school and succeed. Without intervention, many girls are likely to enter school unprepared. Once allowed to develop through programs such as GIRLStart, girls can realize a positive impact on future academic success, job readiness and family life. GIRLStart presents girls entering school with concentrated literacy education by trained professionals for a minimum of four hours each week.
"The goal of this program is to ensure girls are able to meet grade-level reading proficiency and that they understand what they are learning," Wilhelm said. "Each Girls Inc. staff member working with the program is trained in effective, engaging techniques to help girls learn to see reading, not as a chore, but as a creative, positive activity."
In addition to Girls Inc., the Mutual of Omaha Foundation provided funding in the second quarter to the following organizations:
|Big Brothers, Big Sisters||$25,000||Community-Based Mentoring|
|Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha||$25,000||Youth Violence Prevention|
|Children's Scholarship Fund||$15,000||Scholarship Funds|
|Camp Fire USA||$25,000||Out of School Time Programs|
|Heart Ministry Center||$10,000||Self-Sufficiency Programs and Pantry Services|
|Hope Center||$50,000||Hope Learning Academy|
|Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska||$5,000||Grants to American Indians in Nebraska|
|St. Augustine Indian Mission School||$20,000||Sponsor-a-Child|
|TeamMates Mentoring Program||$20,000||Mentor/Mentee Match Support|
|United Methodist Ministries||$2,500||Big Garden|
In addition to these 12 mission grants, the Foundation also approved a five-year civic grant for $750,000 to the Omaha Performing Arts Society for their "Building a Sound Legacy" campaign. This grant will begin in December 2013.
This list along with descriptions of each project can be found on the Foundation's Web site. Requests for applications for the third quarter of 2011 will be accepted online through May 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 website.
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.