We all know someone who’s lost their job in the last month, right? And, perhaps you’re like me, and want to offer more than just the suggestion that they file unemployment and read the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s huge Crisis Response Resource page. There is a way you can help people laid off from popular Omaha restaurants and stores – donate to a fund (donate money and/or time).
Below you’ll find neighborhood funds set up for the following parts of Omaha: Dundee, Blackstone, and Gifford Park & Joslyn Castle neighborhoods. I’d love to add more, so if you know of another fund set up, please let me know!
Dundee neighborhood fund for unemployed workers
Employees who’ve lost their job in the Dundee neighborhood are receiving funds from the Dundee-Memorial Park Association and Dundee Merchants Association. You can donate to the fund here.
Both part-time and full-time employees who’ve been laid off will receive $100 checks every two weeks to unemployed people.
One of my favorite restaurants, Mark’s Bistro, had to lay off 40 people.
Many restaurants in Dundee are still open, as are some shops (to a certain degree). Here’s a list of all Dundee businesses, with phone numbers so you can call in an order for food or maybe other items.
Blackstone District fund for the service industry
The Blackstone District Association has set up a similar fund to provide association member employees in the service industry up to $1,000 every 30 days. You can donate through PayPal to contribute to the fund.
Blackstone has some of the best restaurants in Omaha, as well as bars and Coneflower Creamery. Most are still open to some degree, so you can still order take-out and delivery.
Midtown Mutual Aid Network
This network is a little different set up from the funds mentioned above. Here, residents of Gifford Park and Joslyn Castle neighborhoods can offer to help with different needs including:
- – Childcare
- – Cooking
- – Delivery (buying groceries/supplies and dropping them off for folks)
- – Petcare/dogwalking
- – Internet subscriptions
- – Medical advice (medical professional only)
- – Storage Space
- – Art, music, writing
- – Mental health counseling
- – Conversation/companionship
- – Housecleaning
- – Legal representation/advocacy (specifically labor & housing)
- – Social services guidance (filing for medicare, unemployment, etc.)
People who live in those two neighborhoods can also volunteer to be a neighborhood point person.
Other Omaha area business associations
There are a lot of business associations out there, and while they didn’t have funds set up at the time of writing this post, they may eventually change. Here’s where you can find the latest updates on some of these associations (these are their Facebook pages, which seem to be updated more frequently than their websites):
Benson Neighborhood Association
Leavenworth Neighborhood Association
North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
Peony Park Neighborhood Association
South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
Some of the associations have drives going for food, books, supplies, etc., so if you live in one of the neighborhoods above, go ahead and check out the Facebook page to see how you can help your neighbors. The association in North Omaha was particularly active!
More ways to help Omaha businesses
I want to make sure the small businesses in Omaha survive this crisis, so I created a list of 20+ ways you can help Omaha right now. The list includes locally-owned businesses and nonprofits like:
- – Shops where you can order toys, puzzles, games, gardening supplies, and clothes online or by phone and pick-up curbside.
- – Restaurants and bars that have take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery.
- – Nonprofits and what their current needs are.