Archive | Community Outreach RSS feed for this section

Citizens’ Academy Transportation Night

2 Nov

Mode Shift is one of the founding organizations of the Citizens’ Academy for Omaha’s Future, a joint project presented by community partners designed to provide the “knowledge, skills, and connections that graduates can leverage to advocate for their vision of the community.” Recently, the current class participated in the “Transportation Night” of the academy. Normally the academy presentations are a classroom-type setting where the presenters . . . erm, present. They stand in front of the class. They show a slide deck. They ask if there are any questions. Riveting stuff, to be sure, but for this class, Mode Shift took our curriculum in a more experiential direction.

Mode one: by foot

To start class, the group walked from UNO through a homeowner neighborhood over a participant’s project from the first class which converted an abandoned street into a cut-through walking path. Continue reading

August Coffee Chat — Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

23 Aug

For our August 19 Coffee Chat at No More Empty Cups, we were joined in conversation by Lisa Kelly, Enrichment Programs Director,  and Doug Wampler, Program Facilitator, from Outlook Nebraska, Inc. ONI is a non-profit with a staff of 74, 46 of whom are legally blind, that pursues a mission “to positively impact everyone who is blind or visually impaired” primarily by providing employment. Other programs include “social activities, education, technology and adaptive aids training, and health and wellness programs” designed to serve and integrate the blind and visually impaired into the larger community.

Doug Wampler and his service dog, and Lisa Kelly from Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

Doug Wampler and his service dog, and Lisa Kelly from Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

To achieve their employment mission, ONI has built a manufacturing business that creates 100% recycled content toilet paper and paper towels that are sold to government and institutions. Thanks to the Wagner-O’Day Act of 1938, the Federal government is required to purchase products manufactured by people who are blind, when possible. This creates a market for nonprofits that employ people who are blind. The organization maximizes employment by minimizing automation. As Kelly pointed out, “Where other manufacturers have a machine, we have a person.” Continue reading

Coffee Chat with Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

18 Jul

IMG_4933

Tom Everson, Executive Director of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, intentionally uses the phrase “traffic incident” rather than “traffic accident.” He chooses “incident” over “accident” because 94% of traffic-related deaths are attributed to behavior.

At the June Coffee Chat, Tom shared that the main objective of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 (KKAD25) is to make streets safer for everyone, starting in neighborhoods. KKAD25 implements their mission by educating and engaging the public on road safety. Perhaps their most well-known approach to this objective is their catchy and important safety signs distributed around the world.  Continue reading