The following are fundraisers, donations and charitable events happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to email@example.com or call 402-444-1040.
Fill the Truck: Walmart, 8525 S. 71st Plaza in Papillion, will host a toy and clothing drive called “Fill the Truck” to benefit the Sarpy Holiday Assistance Program through Heartland Family Service. Drop off items today inside the store into a box shaped like a truck and labeled with “HFS.”
Toyland: Lincoln's Center for People in Need will give toys to children from low-income families through Monday at its annual “Toyland for Kids” event. Deb Daily, director of operations, expects more than 11,000 people from 3,000 families to attend. At the event parents choose donated toys for their children. Donations came from the Marines' Toys for Tots, the Lincoln Police Union's Santa Cop, community groups and individuals. More than 450 volunteers are expected to assist. Parents applied earlier this month.
Give a “Dream”: The Dreamweaver Foundation is a local nonprofit that grants “Dreams” to impoverished senior citizens with terminal illnesses. Not all seniors are able to fulfill their own end-of life dreams, but the public can make dreams come true through an online auction that will end at 10 a.m. Friday. All proceeds will go towards creating dreams for dreamers. To see a list of auction items or to bid on them, visit thedreamweaverfoundation.org.
Helping vets: Bellevue American Legion Post 339 and DJ's Dugout are teaming up to help veterans from the Victory Apartments. To help these formerly homeless vets during the holidays, pick an ornament card from DJ's, buy the gift on the card, wrap it and return it with the card before Dec. 22 to any of the four DJ's Dugout locations. DJ's Dugouts are at 10298 S. 23rd St. in Bellevue and at these Omaha locations: 636 N. 114th St., 2102 S. 67th St. and 1003 Capitol Ave.
Teddy bears and more: Ballerinas for Bears, Acapriccio Dance Company's first benefit, will help Project Harmony, a child advocacy center that supports child victims of abuse and neglect. Ballerinas for Bears will begin at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 at Papillion-La Vista High School, 402 E. Centennial Road in Papillion. The performance will last about one hour. The cost of admission is a family donation of a teddy bear, stuffed animal or cash donation for Project Harmony. Cash donations will be used to buy items from Project Harmony's “wish list.” The teddy bears and stuffed animals are given to children to comfort them. The dancers will host a short meet-and-greet, complete with a visit from Santa, after the performance. Acapriccio, 8610 Brentwood Drive in La Vista, also is accepting donations from people who cannot attend the benefit.
Adopt a Family: Prince Hall Masonic Jurisdiction again is participating in an Adopt a Family for Christmas program. Last year these Masons adopted five families and took the parents Christmas shopping for their young children. The Masons gift-wrapped the purchases and delivered the gifts and a Christmas food basket to the families on Christmas Eve. An average of more than $300 was spent on each family. Families are selected based on need and funds available. This year, the Masons hope to adopt 10 or more families. Donations to make this possible can be made payable to Prince Hall Grand Lodge and sent to: Prince Hall Grand Lodge, 2418 Ames Ave., Omaha, NE 68111. For more information, call or text 402-689-7184 and ask about the Adopt a Family for Christmas program.
Off to a good start: The fourth annual Hair of the Dog 5K Run/Walk will begin at noon New Year's Day at the Zorinsky Lake boat ramps, 156th and F Streets. The annual fundraiser for the Food Bank of the Heartland celebrates the New Year by supporting the less fortunate. Entries are accepted only on the day of the event, beginning at 11 a.m. Entry costs $5 and a nonperishable food item. Hot chocolate and doughnuts will be available for all participants.
Tradition: Nebraska State Patrol troopers annually visit Children's Hospital & Medical Center near Christmas. Troopers visited Friday morning to deliver special State Patrol teddy bears to patients. For more than 20 years, the State Troopers Association of Nebraska has raised money to buy teddy bear gifts for hospitalized children statewide. In addition to the teddy bear program, the association also helps Children's Hospital grant special wishes to patients year-round through the Wishing Well Foundation.
Granola bars: Sunbelt Bakery on Thursday donated more than 5,500 granola bars to Food Bank for the Heartland. The donation was made after the company ended a Thanksgiving promotion in the Omaha market. The promotion promised that for every email sent to Sunbelt, one box of granola bars, or 10 bars, would be donated to the food bank.
Honoring, remembering: A class of nursing students at the University of Nebraska Medical Center raised $700 through a bake sale to honor the families of two military members who died serving their country. Nebraska Honor and Remember Flag members Jim Meier and Cliff Leach on Monday presented Honor and Remember flags to Pat Jameson and Jessica Blake. Jameson is the mother of Nebraska Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tricia Jameson, who died July 14, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated while she was responding to injured service members on the battlefield. Blake's husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Blake, of Spencer, Neb., was killed in a military jet crash Sept. 21, 2005.
Gifts for kids: Omaha area residents made a difference in the lives of 19,395 needy children this Christmas with gift-filled shoe boxes. Through Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, local volunteers prepared 19,395 gifts filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement from the Omaha area. Although local collection of the gifts is finished, the shoe boxes' journey to children has just begun. Volunteers will be working in the coming weeks to prepare, package and transport the 7.2 million gifts collected across the U.S. to their final destinations. Omaha residents can still get involved by building a box online. Visit samaritanspurse.org for more information.