news releases

2004.12.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

Child Saving Institute to Receive $5,000 from UNO Philanthropy Class; Funding Comes From Wells Fargo Bank

Omaha - The Child Saving Institute (CSI) of Omaha will receive a $5,000 grant from a unique source – a first-time University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) honors course on philanthropy.

"We're excited and grateful to be receiving this funding," said Todd A. Landry, president and CEO of CSI. "Over the years, we've been recognized for our work, but having a group of young people advocate for us is very gratifying."

The money will be put toward the purchase of a new van to transport children from CSI Kid's Cottage & Children's Crisis Center to school and other activities. A formal presentation of the grant was held at UNO Dec. 1 and was attended by the philanthropy class students and their professors, UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck, CSI staff and representatives from Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo donated the money for the class.

"Everyone involved in the course has given of themselves," said Angela Eikenberry. Eikenberry is the director of American Humanics at UNO, a program that certifies students in nonprofit management. She team-taught the course with Sara Woods, assistant dean of the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS). "The students came up with a dozen possible agencies to give to, and they carefully deliberated and picked a very deserving organization. I can't say enough about the support Wells Fargo has supplied."

Chris Conry, 24, a UNO political science major, proposed donating to CSI. CSI played a significant role in his childhood. He, along with his brother and sister, stayed in the CSI emergency shelter twice and later went into foster care for more than a year before being reunited with their mother. CSI, Conry said, bridged the gap for his family when they needed assistance.

"CSI smoothed out the uncertainty I faced as a child back in 1986," he said. "Making sure that CSI has reliable transportation helps create that stable environment for kids that they need."

CSI's previous van was totaled after a traffic accident. The $5,000 grant has made the difference in purchasing a replacement van.

Conry recently spoke to CSI's board of directors about his involvement as a client of the agency. He plans on going to law school next year after graduating from UNO with honors.

"A course like this is great for the campus and the community, and Wells Fargo has been excited to be involved," said Terry Zink, president of Wells Fargo Bank in Nebraska.

The course, "Philanthropy and Democracy in the United States," had several guest speakers from a range of Omaha businesses and foundations, Woods said. By the end of the class, students had been given a good foundation in issues related to philanthropy, including charitable giving, volunteerism and issues of the nonprofit sector, she said.

"We started out saying this would be a ‘learning by doing' class, and it was exactly that," Woods said. "Just like making money, giving money away so it can make a difference takes good research and hard work. The choice they made with CSI is an excellent one."

CSI, founded in Omaha in 1892, provides a continuum of services that all work together in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Its programs range from preventive family education, preservation and childcare to the healing programs of emergency shelter, foster care and adoption.

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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