Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Growing Kimball from the inside out


A full room of attentive people shared lunch and learned more about the Kimball Area Foundation (KAF) and the Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) at the Kimball Library on December 14.

Several KAF board members and NFC representatives were on hand to share their passion and knowledge of helping Nebraskans take their dreams and turn them into reality.

KAF is a local non-profit organization designed to help build community abundance, preventing small towns from disappearing by building up the leaders, skills and confidence of residents. Partnerships within the local community as well as within the larger NCF and other communities across the state can benefit Kimball and its people. Both entities encourage giving back to community, whether that is through gifts of endowments or through creating new pathways for towns like Kimball to grow from the inside out instead of asking for outside help.

NCF is available to help communities and individuals alike to articulate their vision of what is needed. Once a solid, workable vision is acquired, the representatives of the NCF will help to focus those dreams and visions and then accomplish those dreams. This may be through a partnership, support, tools, education and possibly even grants.

Locally, KAF has helped more than twenty groups, projects and events since 2015. The most recent being a grant to the Friends of the Goodhand Theater to assist with reopening the theater.

Other non-profit projects include many of the community events such as soup suppers and BBQ, youth groups such as the Kimball Soccer Club, organizations’ projects such as Keep Kimball Beautiful, the Villages of Dix and Potter, a piano for the high school, the Shop with a Cop program and more, and money is still available for further community support.

Although NCF is a 501c3 and charitably received money can only go towards other charitable organizations, there is some leeway in that as long as the grants go towards community items, they are within the limitations of the charitable process. Community programs such as playgrounds, schools, community organizations and groups, the library, and many more are all available to receive money from KAF.

As of the end of this year, with the monetary donations that have already been received by KAF and is now being managed in the NCF endowment account, KAF has just under $9,000 available to grant annually in Kimball and the surrounding areas. Although this amount may fluctuate due to the market, the amount has typically been around the $8,500 for the past few years.

Growing this fund is also important.

For generations, most Nebraskans have chosen to stay close to home. During the meeting, many in the audience voiced their reasons for choosing to live in Kimball. Those reasons were plentiful and yet the overall sentiments were the same; a quiet and peaceful town where children are raised in relative safety, lifetime family and friends, and the quality of people who choose to call this area home.

The NAF offered that many other small communities throughout Nebraska have similar beliefs and yet Kimball and other communities may not survive the future if we do not support ourselves and put money back into the town we call home.

Their message was that we all need to work together to support Kimball for the needs of both now and future generations.

Howard Atkins said during the meeting, “Wealth needs to stay in Kimball.”

Howard and Peggy Atkins are the benefactors of a donor-advised fund that is held by the NAF. Both are not only monetary supporters of our community but cheerleaders of Kimball, helping support growth, abundance and local responsibility.

Board member seats are available for the Kimball Area Foundation. For more information, or to join, contact local representative Jan Sears at the Kimball Public Library at 308-235-4523.


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