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For Immediate Release: October 13, 2020

United Way of the Midlands Awards Karnett Trust Grants to Support Children and Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is pleased to announce it has awarded $500,842 to seven local nonprofit agencies on behalf of the Ellen C. Karnett Trust.

The trust was created in 1969 by Ellen C. Karnett and entrusted to UWM in 2012. Karnett Trust funding is directed to local programs that focus on the care, education and training of children up to age 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22.2% of adults in Nebraska have some type of disability. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a high number of these individuals live in poverty, with the median income for individuals with disabilities reaching only $20,250. To help children and young adults with disabilities gain independence so they can achieve financial stability later on in life, they need access to opportunities that help them learn vital life skills.

UWM is uniquely positioned through its well-established Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) process to review Karnett Trust applications and prioritize funding for programs that fulfill current needs and service gaps in our community, while adhering to the original intent of the trust set forth in 1969. The UWM Board approved CIRT volunteers’ funding recommendations on Friday, Oct. 2.

The following programs will be receiving a two-year grant from the Trust:

  •  Book Club, Ollie Webb Center
  •  Growth Opportunities for Apartment Living Success (GOALS), Sheltering Tree
  • Health, Education and Law Project (HELP), Legal Aid of Nebraska
  • Life Skills Training Program, HETRA
  • Partnership for Autism Career Employment (PACE) Program, Autism Action Partnership
  • Work Experience – Virtual, Goodwill
  • Work Incentives Planning and Assistance for Transition-Age Youth, EasterSeals

“These nonprofits are making a significant impact in the lives of young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Matt Wallen, UWM Senior Vice President of Community Impact and Analytics. “United Way of the Midlands is honored to award them funding through the Karnett Trust so that children, young adults and their families can continue to access vital services in the metro, giving young people with disabilities the opportunity to gain a greater level of independence.”

About the Ellen C. Karnett Trust

The Karnett Trust Grant Program is administered by the United Way of the Midlands. Karnett Trust funds are
available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties with programs that are focused on the care, education and training of children with intellectual disabilities in the Omaha metropolitan area. Ellen C. Karnett left the trust funds to United Way to administer her wishes to benefit children in our community with intellectual disabilities. The funds are distributed in honor of Ellen’s son, Richard.

About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

See full press release here.