Projects & Events

United Way Projects and Events

Below are United Way's ongoing projects and events. Want to learn more about one of these? Reach out to

recreational scholarships

These scholarships provide up to $75 per year in assistance for youth to attend enrichment activities through the schools
or community organizations with priorities for reading programs and summer school. Guardians will be asked to provide
proof of financial need.  


coats for kids



Each year, we partner with the Kearney Kiwanis Clubs, Kearney Elks, and Buffalo County Goodfellows to organize a Coats for Kids drive where we provide free coats to over 800 children in the Kearney and surrounding areas. We provide a range of coats to toddlers, all the way up to high school students. Volunteers work together the morning of the event to organize and sort the coats to make for a quick and easy pick-up for families. Upon registering, guardians will be asked to provide proof of financial need.


Back-2-School Backpack program
Each year, we partner with the local Dobytown Kiwanis to organize a Back-2-School Backpack Program where we provide over 1,000 backpacks to children in the Kearney and surrounding areas. This is a fun, hands-on event where we team up with local businesses to help us collect school supplies to include in the backpacks. United Way staff, board members and their families, along with many other community members work together to stuff the backpacks. Upon registering, guardians will be asked to provide proof of financial need.
Stuff the Bus



United Way of the Kearney Area works alongside the local Dobytown Kiwanis group each year to provide backpacks to more than 1,000 children in our six-county area and to supplement the cost of supplies, we began Stuff the Bus in July of 2009. We have a school bus on display for three days in front of Walmart in Kearney next to a large container where shoppers can donate supplies at their convenience. The event has become a huge success!


Fireworks and Freedom Fest



The annual United Way Fireworks & Freedom Fest event is always something people look forward to. It's an outdoor family-friendly event that welcomes residents of the Kearney area and surrounding communities. The event provides food, games, bingo, and music. A large firework display brings the night to an exciting end. Hundreds of people come to enjoy this evening, which makes Freedom Fest one of our biggest fundraising events of the year.


Jersey Auction



Pack it in Purple Jersey Auction is one of our annual fundraisers with Tri-City Storm Hockey at the Viaero Center. Special


jerseys are designed each year for this event that people can bid on before and during the event. The auction concludes immediately
after the hockey game. Any winning bidders at the game will be able to make payments to United Way and receive their jersey.
Winning bidders who are not at the game are able to contact our office and arrange a date to pick up their jersey. It's always so
fun to see the players wearing our specially designed United Way jerseys and hundres of community members wearing purple.


Dine Out to Help Out



Throughout each year, we host several Dine Out to Help Out events where we invite people to take a night off


from cooking and come support United Way and local restaurants. Community members get to enjoy good food, 
along with the company of others. Instead of the restaurant staff serving tables, we have United Way affiliates
such as our board members wait on tables. All tips made throughout these events go to United Way to
help provide support in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. 


Stamp Out Hunger projects  



The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is a charitable initiative conducted by the National Association of


Letter Carriers. They make significant donations of food to organizations serving those in need.