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Omaha Gives! spreads goodwill, cash

Posted at 3:09 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 18:21:56-04

The annual 24 hour giving marathon, Omaha Gives! is underway until midnight.

Megan Sharpe hops online at work. Her day job is at Goodwill. Online, she's spreading goodwill a different way.

"It's ten in the morning, and it's one point eight million dollars raised so far," she says, staring at the screen.

This year Omaha Gives! includes 789 nonprofits. It's put on by the Omaha Community Foundation, who also puts on an identical fundraiser in Pottawattamie county. The concept is simple: go online, donate at least 10 bucks to the group you choose. During that 24 hours, the foundation helps match and hold challenges to bring in even more donations.

All over town today, groups ran ragged to fundraise. Christy Nielsen literally ran. The group behind the run-Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, a group wanting to make streets safer for all. Nielsen's sister and nephew both lost their lives after car crashes.

"To see these people donating, opening up their pocketbooks and saying yeah we want to keep his memory alive, and everybody else's, and raise awareness so it doesn't happen again. If we save one life it's worth it," she said.

On the city's north side in Benson, nonprofits Benson Theater, Omaha Under the Radar and Why Arts joined forces. They all have different missions, but there's no competition today for everyone's money.

"Today is about working together and the Benson theatre is all about collaboration to help make Benson a better community and Omaha a better city," board member Joe DiCostanzo said.

Keep checking omahagives24.org to see how much has been raised or to donate.