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Nebraska State Fair helps non-profits get their message out

American Red Cross blood drive at the Nebraska State Fair (KHGI)

One scoop at a time the Heartland United Way is getting help from fairgoers.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers for the year,” said Cammie Benson, volunteer and public relations coordinator. ”I know last year we scooped around $60,000 worth so we’re hoping to get to that point or exceed it.”

Those funds going to 21 partner organizations in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.

“We have a new focus and that is focusing on childhood poverty and trying to end the cycle, so this ice cream parlor really helps get us the funds for that,” said Cammie.

The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive at the Nebraska State Fair for the first year during a time there is a big need.

“In the summer months we’re always short on blood products,” said Kari Benson, district collections manager.

The Red Cross has sent some of it to areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“We prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of Hurricane Harvey to make sure that we had the products needed for any of the recipients that would possibly need them,” said Kari.

The Red Cross is collecting money too. So is the Salvation Army.

“The need is right now just getting people safe. We are providing emotional, spiritual care in the shelters. We are providing emergency service canteens, which is providing food and hydration to all the workers as well as those who have been displaced,” said Salvation Army Major Chuck Yockey.

They say this is just the beginning.

“Years, I’m told. It’ll be a long time to clean up this mess,” said Yockey.

For these organizations, they say the Nebraska State Fair lets them share their message.

“Any time we can get the word out that we need help, people step up to the pump and they help,” said Yockey.

“It’s good to let people know that we are present and we are here to help and that is our mission,” said Kari.

She said 91 cents of every dollar given to the American Red Cross goes to the Hurricane Fund.

Yockey said 86 cents of every dollar given to the Salvation Army goes to direct service. The Salvation Army says if you mark your donation for Hurricane Relief, 100% will go towards help to Harvey survivors.


NTV News and Sinclair Cares is teaming up with the Salvation Army to make it easy to donate.

Click here to help.

Other ways to donate to the Salvation Army:

How to donate to the American Red Cross:

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