Leaders Driven to Make a Difference

Do you want to make a difference?! Then start here.

If you’re a passionate professional under 40 who is interested in volunteerism, advocacy or philanthropy, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) Emerging Leaders is the group for you.

Our Goal

As part of the Raise Me to Read initiative, we aim to help kids read on grade-level by providing them with books they love.

Our Annual Impact



donated back to the community

volunteer hours

Why Engage?

When you identify as an Emerging Leader and make a gift of $250 or more to UWM, you'll...
Stay Informed

Learn about the issues that confront kids in our metro area and how you can help

Get Connected

Join a network of change-makers who share your goals and successes

Make an Impact

Give back to the community by participating in fundraising and volunteer opportunities that make a big difference in kids’ lives

Gain Access

Receive invites to professional development training opportunities and special events

The Importance of Raise Me to Read

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is one of the most important predictors of high school graduation and career success.

To help more low-income children reach this important reading milestone, United Way of the Midlands supports Raise Me to Read.

This campaign focuses on three key areas that impact grade-level reading:


  • Preparing kids from birth to age five for school,
  • Encouraging students to attend school every day and
  • Fostering learning during the summer months.


Ensuring students have access to books plays an important part in the campaign’s success. In low-income areas, there is just one book for every 300 children. To address this, United Way of the Midlands locally funds a national literacy program known as Book Trust. Through this program, students at 10 Title 1 schools across six local school districts can select and order their own Scholastic books. At the end of each school year, students have approximately 20-30 Scholastic books in their at-home libraries.

Over the next two years, Emerging Leaders are fundraising to put more books in these students’ hands. They also read to children once a month at two local schools.

Join the Action

Help kids develop a love for reading by participating in our events throughout the year.
#SlamDunkBook Fundraiser

Every year we find fun ways to help students discover their #SlamDunkBook and engage our community around local literacy efforts.

“Birdies for Books” Golf Tournament

This tournament brings golf-lovers together for a good cause.

Monthly Book Box Opening Volunteer Opportunities

Members bring smiles to kids’ faces every time they enter the classroom to help celebrate the arrival of new books!

And much more!

How to Get Involved

For more information or to express interest in getting involved, please contact emergingleaders@uwmidlands.org.

Does your company run a United Way campaign?

You can donate $250 and check the Emerging Leaders box when you fill out the electronic or paper pledge form to join us! To support the Emerging Leaders’ initiative, you can also choose to designate your funds to Book Trust in the “Direct Your Dollars” portion of our donation forms.

Follow us on social to see what we’ve been up to in the community!

United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

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