Wolbachs Give Big to Go Big Give


The Heartland United Way and Grand Island Community Foundation are teaming up for “Go Big Give,” a day of what they call clicking and giving.

Go Big Give Day is May 1, and organizers say they’re off to a great start thanks to some big-hearted people.

Long-time Grand Island residents, Gloria Wolbach and her late husband Bud have been giving back through dollars and actions for years.

Now they’re taking it a step farther with a $10,000 check to the new area fundraiser from their recently created Wolbach Foundation. Wolbach says Go Big Give was the perfect choice to be their charitable foundation’s first-ever gift recipient.

“Both Bud and I are very, very pleased with what our community does, particularly through United Way and the Grand Island Community Foundation, and it was a good way to start,” she said.

Come May 1 everyone can give financially to any of the 62 non-profits Go Big Give will benefit.

Donors can search online for organizations they want to help, and Karen Rathke, president of the Heartland United Way, says they might find programs and projects they didn't even know about.

“The whole event is to increase dollars that the non-profits need so desperately, but it’s also the education/awareness – that there’s all these great things happening in the community and there’s ways that you can connect to them not only financially, but also with your time,” she said.

Rathke says thousands of people will be helped in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, and Merrick Counties when the 24-hour event comes to an end.

“You can go online and shop and pick one or ten or all 62 to give to,” said Rathke.

Wolbach, the founder of G.I.’s infamous random acts of kindness, says that every gift on May 1 – whether it’s in $10 or $10,000 increments – has an impact.

“You do something good for someone, they’ll turn around and repeat that and do something, it grows like a chain link fence,” she said.

Go Big Give is still looking for some volunteer help for May 1. Organizers will be at the Conestoga Mall taking walk-in donations if someone doesn't want to give online, and will have lots of events in the area and at non-profit agencies.

Click HERE to visit the Heartland United Way’s volunteer page.

Click HERE to visit the Go Big Give web site.