The Giving Tuesday initiative was started in 2012 with the goal to combat high spending and counteract materialism in our culture through generosity. As Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales stretch out over the entire month of November and even longer in some cases, this initiative becomes exceedingly necessary. Each year, Giving Tuesday has continued to inspire people to give.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecast estimates that holiday sales in 2023 will be up 4-6% from last year and reach between $5.13 trillion and $5.23 trillion. With gift giving and holiday sales on the forefront on our mind from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday allows us an opportunity to give of our time, talents, and treasures, and in doing so, to rejuvenate our true holiday spirit.
This year, we’ve compiled a small list of local causes and initiatives so as to give our Wausa community options to take part in Giving Tuesday and support those around them at the same time. Listed below are a handful of organizations and individuals who could benefit from your generosity this year.
Wausa Community Foundation Fund
The Community Foundation is part of a statewide movement to spearhead community development and create prosperity. The Foundation volunteers are working to build a culture of philanthropy and a robust unrestricted endowment to benefit our community long into the future and supports quality of life initiatives to benefit the lives of current residents and attract new families to live, work, and raise their children in our hometown. The Wausa Community Foundation strives to promote a welcoming community that will preserve the integrity of our small-town history and heritage. “We are excited to invest in our young people and opportunities to enrich our community,” said FAC member Darren Vanness. Since 2019, the Community Foundation has been able to grant $119,531 back into our community thanks to the generous donations to our endowment from many benefactors in our community. Through local investment from generous benefactors, we encourage opportunities and services that attract people of all means to live. work, and visit our community.
The School Foundation
This foundation has taken initiative to give back to the community of Wausa in many difference areas. Every year they give out numerous scholarships to the graduating senior class. A recent donation this Foundation has made supported the addition of the new Industrial Tech building to the north of the school. The Wausa School Foundation is the primary source of scholarship money for upcoming Wausa Seniors. Would you like to leave a legacy for your family name? Consider sponsoring a scholarship to benefit Wausa graduates and their future endeavors!
Liz Eskey (Story) is the youngest daughter of Lois Carlson (Feulberth) and is a resident here in Wausa, NE along with her sister Chris and brothers Jon and Dan Story. Before she had to stop working, per doctor’s orders, you may have seen her behind the counter at Big Red. Liz has two kids. Her youngest, Mackenzie, is due to graduate from college at Wayne State College in December and wants to pursue a career in Marine Biology. Liz has recently been dealing with a storm of medical issues. She had this to share:
“Early this year, I was told that my heart was attacked by a virus which has put me into advanced heart failure. At age 49, I have non ischemic cardiomyopathy, Left Bundle Branch Block, and a leaky valve (due to my heart being twice the normal size). My EF is 15%, which means my heart is only working at 15% instead of the normal 55-60%. Doctors have said I have approximately two years to live without intervention. I’m working with her transplant team to try to help my heart maintain and not worsen, until I can get a heart transplant. We are using a regimen of multiple medications, cardiac rehab, and rest to try to accomplish this. I have low blood pressure, so they have to be cautious with the dosages so I can still function. I had to quit my job in June per my medical team. I had a device implanted that helps my heart beat in sync and has a defibrillator in case I need it. Any support or prayers during this time would be greatly appreciated.”
Liz has been approved for disability, but with a waiting period, that will not be available until January. Liz’s mom is trying to help out by returning to work at Wausa Public Schools after retiring last year. Lois is also the full time caregiver for her husband, Mert. Wausa is a supportive community. We hope to be able to supply Liz and her family with some much needed aid this Giving Tuesday.
Payne’s Pacas Inc.
Last year at Payne’s heavenly birthday party, Heidi and Chris Haberer announced to their friends and family their idea of establishing a non-profit honoring Payne’s life. The mission of Payne’s Pacas Inc. is to provide comfort to children who are undergoing medical treatment in the pediatric intensive care units at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. These hospitals were where Payne Haberer was hospitalized and received the best possible care. Payne’s Pacas Inc. will gift a stuffed alpaca along with an insert that has been beautifully written by Dana Hansen, Payne’s second cousin.
The board members of the non-profit have a goal to donate twenty stuffed alpacas in December, which is Payne’s birthday month. They will be ordering the stuffed alpacas from Cuddle + Kind, a company who ethically produces hand-knit dolls and donates ten nutritious meals to children in need for each doll sold. All in all, a handful of children and families will be affected with each donation from the non-profit.
If you would like more information, you can find Payne’s Pacas Inc. on Facebook and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contribute by check sent to Payne’s Pacas, Inc. 57150 HWY 59 Laurel, NE 68745.
The board is excited to get this started to keep sweet Payne’s memory alive. The board members said, “The continuous love, support and thoughtfulness received from friends, families and community members for Payne has been truly astounding.”
Monetary gifts are wonderful and important! However, that is not the only way to give. This Giving Tuesday, consider volunteering your time as a mentor for Wausa’s Teammates Chapter. As of this year, our local chapter has exceeded expectations and previous records with over 34 matches in Wausa Public Schools. This program benefits both mentor and mentee and helps our overall community thrive. Don’t underestimate the difference you can make with just a half hour a week! To sign up, please contact Chris Johnson at email@example.com or visit teammates.org for more information.
The Wausa Teammates Chapter does also hope to have the funds to give a scholarship to each graduating senior in the program. Two Wausa Teammates mentees will graduate this spring. Consider donating to help to future of these young Wausa natives. A monetary gift may also support a spring mentor/mentee activity. Each spring, a group activity is offered with food, games, movies, etc.
You can donate to any of the above causes by simply sending your donation to @wausagivingtuesday on Venmo. Please type in the memo line which cause you would like your donation to be sent to. All 100% of your donation will be forwarded to your cause of choice.