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Category: Chapter 137 News

Heartland Pioneers Volunteers Help Again on the 31st TurkeyFest

Thirty-one years ago the Omaha Works Pioneers started TurkeyFest with the Salvation Army. They provided the place to hold TurkeyFest and the Pioneers provided the rest. Things have changed but the Pioneer are still here volunteering and providing some help with the supplies. Below is the coverage by KMTV’s of the 2022 TurkeyFest

Salvation Army’s 31st annual TurkeyFest helping hundreds of Omaha seniors in need
Story by Kalé Searcy

OMAHA, Neb. —Since 1991, the Salvation army’s 31st annual Turkeyfest helping Omaha seniors in need has helped provide dinner on Thanksgiving.

And for almost every year since, Douglas Thoms has been there as a volunteer.

“We had people that actually came into the Salvation Army, and we would feed them as they came through the line,” he said.

Thoms remembers the program providing just a few meals, but now they’re sending out over 1,000 across the metro.

“It’s changed then. Now we put it in a Styrofoam container, and we send it out to each individual’s home, which is different because each year the number of people that need help grows,” Thoms said.

Kevin Newlin has been the Salvation Army’s chef for 14 years, spending the days before Thanksgiving in the kitchen.

“It takes about three and a half, four days. And then on Wednesday night, we start coming in and blanching the green beans, getting the potatoes ready, making the stuffing, and everything’s from scratch here. So, we try to make it as delicious as possible,” Newlin said.

Newlin said since his start, this year came with its own set of challenges when it came to getting everything on his shopping list.

“The supply and demand of turkeys has been a nightmare this year. We had to go back to whole turkeys. I couldn’t find the normal turkey that we use, and then inflation, it just put a price tag on all the items that we had to, you know, purchase with a smart mind,” he said.

But Newlin said the focus was to stay on budget to meet the growing need in the metro. And for almost every year since, Douglas Thoms has been there as a volunteer.

“We had people that actually came into the Salvation Army, and we would feed them as they came through the line,” he said.

Thoms remembers the program providing just a few meals, but now they’re sending out over 1,000 across the metro.

“It’s changed then. Now we put it in a Styrofoam container, and we send it out to each individual’s home, which is different because each year the number of people that need help grows,” Thoms said.

Kevin Newlin has been the Salvation Army’s chef for 14 years, spending the days before Thanksgiving in the kitchen.

Repost from KETV

Cozy Wraps Keeps Making Much Needed Items to Donate to Those in Need

This fall on September 15, Carolyn delivered 22 baby blankets to Lydia House investing 342 volunteer hours, on September 29 she had 2 scarfs, 8 head bands and 5 scarf/headband set she delivered taking 33 hours to make. Gwen accepted the baby blankets for Lydia house. Then on October 6 she delivered 6 lap robes/shoulder wraps to Heritage Ridge. Carolyn noted that she took 81 hours to make these items. Her volunteer hours totaled 456 for the items she made and donated. Chapter president Bob Wolkins thanked Carolyn for making and delivering these items. The hours were added to the Cozy Wraps total for the current year.

Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins – Photos by Bob Wolkins

Nancy Domina Continues Making Scarves to Donate to the Salvation Army

Hooks & Needles Nancy Domina continued making scarves to donate to the Salvation Army this past summer and early fall. During the week of October 23, 2022 she delivered 78 scarves to the Salvation Army location in Omaha, NE. Nancy invested a total of 2,100 hours making the 78 scarves. Together they loaded seven boxes of scarves in her SUV for deliver. Nancy thanked her daughter Laura – who has been her driver to pick up the yarn at Betty’s house – and also delivery of the scarves to the Salvation Army on 108th street just north of Dodge. Laura donated two blankets while we were there. Nancy turned her hours and number of scarves into Betty Golmanavich temporary leader of the hooks & and needles. Betty emailed Nancy back and thanked her for making the scarves and her work as a volunteer for the Group and the Heartland Pioneers formerly of the Omaha Works.


Submitted by Nancy Domina photos by Melvin Domina

Heartland Council Pioneers LML 23 August 2022

August 23, 2022

Today at approximately 10:30 am the doors to the DC Centre Banquet Facility opened for the second Heartland Pioneers Life Member Luncheon of 2022. More than a hundred attendees enjoyed visiting and catching up with what has been taking place in their lives since the last LML this spring. Chair Judy Coffey opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance and gave a blessing. She had a couple of the chairs give a short report on what their groups were engaged in now. During this time the salads were distributed to all and then came the attendees selection of their meals either baked chicken or beef on rice. The dessert was a layer cake of chocolate or vanilla with a cream filling served by the waiters.

The highlight was Betty Golmanavich of the Hooks and Needles introducing Sharron Bailey who for years has made baby, cancer, youth and Quilts of Valor. Her specialty is quilts for kid cancer patients in the Omaha area. The Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, its mission was to cover our nation’s military touched by war – that is, to cover them with quilts and honor their service. After she showed a quilt to the group she donated the quilt to one of the attendees of the luncheon. Sharron noted that from the first of the year to the end of August she have made and delivered 70 quilts.

There was a drawing of four free luncheon meals for the Christmas LML on December 6, 2022. The officers of the Heartland Council wish to thank all that chose to have lunch with us today and hope to see all again at our Christmas Luncheon.

In conjunction with the Life Member Luncheon the Pioneers hold a food drive and ask those attending to bring staples to the luncheon to donate to the Salvation Army. Chapter president Bob Wolkins reported that when he delivered the food items to the Salvation Army he was able to fill two grocery carts with the donations from the luncheon. The lady at the Salvation Army told Bob it was hard today to put a value on the food and assured him the two grocery carts had a estimated 100 pounds of food.

Submitted by the Heartland Councils Assistant Editor

Heartland Pioneers Donate To The Salvation Army Fan Drive In Omaha, NE

Help Omaha Metro Residents Beat the Heat:
Donate to the Annual Fan Drive

Summer’s sizzling temperatures can take a toll on anyone, but the elderly, people with medical conditions and those without air conditioning are especially at risk. That’s why Westlake Ace Hardware’s annual Fan Drive to benefit The Salvation Army has been a vital lifeline to many in Omaha.

This year Westlake Ace and The Salvation Army celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fan Drive. Stop by one of Westlake Ace Hardware metro-Omaha locations any time between June 1 and June 19 to round up your purchase or donate any amount of your choice. Donations can also be made online here.

Funds will be used to purchase fans for The Salvation Army, and all donations will support people in need in our local community, including low-income seniors, qualified families with children and adults with disabilities.

Donating to the fan drive is an easy way to make a big difference for someone in need. A single box fan can help reduce energy costs by properly circulating air throughout a home or by helping a small window unit air conditioner cool more efficiently.

Since beginning the Fan Drive, more than $57,000 has been raised in the Omaha metro area. That equates to 3,800 fans donated to help people fight the brutal summer heat. Nationally, the partnership – which began at one store in Hutchinson, Kansas, and has grown to 127 stores across the country, including eight stores in the Omaha metro – has helped raise $650,000 in the past decade.

“We are so grateful to every one of the Westlake Ace Hardware customers who contribute to the fan drive,” said Tiffanie McCowin, director of material assistance and seasonal services for The Salvation Army of Omaha. “Something as simple as a fan can make a tremendous difference in the health and comfort of the elderly and others who might struggle during summer’s hottest days.”

The Heartland Pioneers this year purchased 70 box fans from Westlake ACE Hardware for the Salvation Army Annual Fan Drive and donated them in the name of Dick and Cathy Maxwell.

Thank You To Cozy Wraps From Open Door Mission and Lydia House

For the past few weeks I have been collecting finished handmade items from Pioneer volunteers. In the last few day we collected 13 baby blankets, 3 bankets with matching cocoons and hats and 3 cocoon and hat sets.

On June 22 we delivered these items to ODM for distribution to Lydia House. They were accepted by the receptionist, Nancy.

Submitted Carolyn Wolkins – Photo by Bob Wolkins

Cozy Wraps Delivers Again To Open Door Mission And Heritage Ridge

On Saturday evening June 18 one of the Bellevue ladies in the Cozy Wrap group stopped by the Wolkins home and gave Carolyn 4 laps robes and 2 shoulder wraps she had knitted. On Sunday afternoon June 19 Carolyn called the Heritage Ridge and contacted Lenore her contact and she told Carolyn if she wanted to drive and drop them off today she would meet in at the reception desk.

On June 8 Carolyn delivered 14 crocheted baby blanket that one of the groups knitters dropped off to be delivered to Lydia House at the Open Door mission. On June 15 Carolyn and Bob took them over to the Open Door Mission. Bob dropped the bags of baby blankets in the parking lot then parked the car and took them in side. The receptionist Nancy accepted the donation and told Carolyn thank you. Nancy told Carolyn that the baby blankets were very much in need at Lydia House.

Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins – photos by Bob Wolkins

New Outlook Pioneers Receive Appreciation Letters

Most organizations or committees like to hear back now and then from organization(s) that the donations are appreciated and they know that what they are doing is making is a difference. Over the course now and then thank you letters are sent to the committee or group thanking them for what they do. The pioneers receive thank you letters and pass them on to the committees or groups so they are aware their work was appreciated. Below are a few thank you letters that the New Outlook Pioneers have received recently.

Cozy Wraps Donates to The Heritage Ridge United Community

Monday, April 11, 2022, Carolyn delivered 8 lap robes and 3 shoulder wraps, knitted and crocheted by Heartland Pioneer volunteers, to Heritage Ridge United Community. Lenore and Carrie were happy to accept the donations from the Pioneers.

About Heritage Ridge
The Heritage Ridge United Community offers a diverse range of retirement living services and housing in Bellevue, NE. With independent living, assisted living, and memory care options available, Heritage Ridge is equipped to help residents with a diverse range of daily care needs and retirement expectations. From hands-off independent living to specialized memory care for residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Heritage Ridge has designed a continuum of care that encourages ‘aging-in-place’.

Submitted by Carolyn and Bob Wolkins

Heartland Council LML and Food Drive 5 Apr 2022

On April 5, 2022 the Heartland Council sponsored a Life Member Luncheon for all the retirees of the Omaha Works. There was also a food drive in connection with the luncheon. The food that was collected was donated to the Salvation Army when the luncheon was over. Sandy helped Mary load the second cart full of food staples from the Life Member Luncheon. If you wish to view photos from the LML you may click on this link https://heartlandpioneers.com/2022/04/11/omaha-works-pioneers-life-member-luncheon-5-apr-2022/