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Each week on Monday I participate in a call through Lift Up Sarpy that brings together people from various organizations across our community that are reaching out to help our families struggling during this crisis. This week one of the collaborative efforts that several callers highlighted as a game changer for families in Bellevue was the Metro Area Continuum of Care (MACC). MACC has done a wonderful job supporting families who are presently experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in this challenging time. In Sarpy County over 72 families have qualified for prevention dollars to help stabilize their housing situation. If you think you or someone you know may be eligible for their prevention dollars you can contact the Bellevue Access Point at 402-682-6602 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Families need only to have a risk of homelessness in the next 20 days to make a request for intervention.
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. All over Nebraska teachers are adapting to online learning, making an effort to keep up with their students though they aren’t seeing them in the classroom and continuing to promote learning. Thank you for all of your work to keep our kids connected to learning during this time! Bellevue Public Schools shared a template this week for students to thank their teachers for the important work they do. If you are a teacher and you would like to recognize one of your colleague’s outstanding work, you might consider nominating them for Nebraska Teacher of the Year (2021). More information is available on Nebraska’s Department of Education website.
This week is also Nurse Appreciation Week. Our nurses have been frontline heroes during this COVID 19 crisis. I encourage you to reach out to your favorite nurses and thank them for their service.
Next week is the primary election. If you have a ballot sitting on your counter, now is the time to turn it in! Ballots must arrive at the County Election Office by 8:00 PM on Tuesday, May 12. The deadline for dropping off ballots in drop boxes is the same. As we note below, there is a drop box for ballots in front of the Bellevue Library; ballots must be in the drop box 8:00pm.
Lastly, a reminder as restrictions are relaxed that directed health measures vary between public health districts. The state’s most recent directed health care measures are online and can be found by clicking here. A map of Nebraska’s local health departments is available by clicking here.
Primary Election May 12th
This upcoming Tuesday is the Nebraska primary. Due to COVID, some polling places were relocated. Please see this webpage to double check if your polling place has been moved. There is no in-person early voting for this election, though voters needing assistance with marking their ballots can make an appointment to come in up until the end of the business day on May 11th. There are four drive-up ballot drop boxes for mail ballot return; the Bellevue ballot drop box is at 1003 Lincoln Road in the Bellevue Public Library parking lot. If you have questions or concerns about your ballot or voting, contact the Sarpy County Election Commission at 402-593-2167.
This week Commissioner John Albin provided an update on unemployment benefits and claims. 94,000 claims have been processed since mid-March with 22,000 people moved into payment status just this week. For claimants who are reporting combined wages or who have worked in more than one state, your claim may take longer to process. If you or someone you know has applied for unemployment and have not received a response in 28 days, contact our office at email@example.com and we can help expedite your claim.
Food Banks in Need
The Nebraska Food Security Task Force is working to help thousands of Nebraskans who rely upon food banks, pantries and school lunch programs for their next meal. Because of social distancing guidelines, fewer volunteers are available to help distribute food. The food banks will resume accepting non-perishable food but until that’s possible, Nebraskans can still help by making monetary donations or sponsoring a fundraiser. To donate to the Food Bank for the Heartland which serves Nebraska and western Iowa please visit their website. To donate to the Bellevue Food Pantry, send a check to 1908 Hancock Street, Bellevue NE 68005 or visit the ENCAP donor portal at http://encapnebraska.org/donations/.
Sarpy County Virtual Baby Shower
For expectant mothers and households with children 15 months or younger in Sarpy County, ENCAP and Lift Up Sarpy will be partnering to host a Virtual Baby Shower. Gift bags will be available for pick-up on June 4th and 5th and a parent training event will follow on June 6th. For more information, please see the invitation page here.
The Department of Health and Human Services’s Facebook Live event this week highlighted the Nebraska Family Helpline, a wonderful resource for Nebrakan’s that are experiencing issues with their children in the home or who need help connecting with local resources. Helpline staff is available 24/7 at 888-866-8660. More information about the helpline is available on the DHHS website here.
St. Paul Methodist Church in Papillion is partnering with Lift Up Sarpy to provide diapers to families in need. To contact them for more information, their phone number is 402-439-3308.
Visit Omaha has launched their Virtual Visitor page for Nebraskans seeking at-home learning experiences and activities.. Tours of renowned attractions such as The Omaha Zoo, Durham Museum, Fontenelle Forest and Omaha Symphony are all accessible at this link. The full calendar of virtual events can be found here.
Two videos translated into six languages have been uploaded to Gov. Ricketts YouTube channel. One video highlights 10 ways to stay healthy and keep your family healthy during the pandemic. The other video provides tips on what to do if you or family members become ill or have been exposed to the virus. The videos are available in: Spanish, Arabic, Karen, Somali, Nepalese and French.
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All the best,