Gratitude this Holiday Season

This time of year always lends itself to being contemplative. Lately, my thoughts have been traveling to how far Hunger Free Heartland has come.  We recently submitted our paperwork to the IRS to become an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The wait seemed daunting with so many unknowns. What if we were rejected? What would we do next? I was taught at a young age to “hope for the best, but plan for the worst”; we began preparing backup plans.

On October 14th, not even thirty days after we had submitted the paperwork, I received a piece of mail from the IRS. My heart sank as I walked that single envelope to my office. I was meeting with a consultant for HFH at the time, and I remember telling her that such a short turnaround time could only bring bad news. I was overcome with worry and thoughts of what we would do next at Hunger Free Heartland if the envelope contained the bad news I expected.

I hesitantly opened the envelope, nervous about the fate of our organization. We were approved! As I read the letter, I cried tears of joy and gratitude. All of the hard work, sweat and tears that went into proving ourselves through the IRS application had paid off!

Hunger Free Heartland has an abundance of things to be thankful for: partnerships with amazing organizations, a team of individuals (board and staff) that respect each other, and a community that continues to show support. So, while we get to be thankful for a lot this Thanksgiving, we are mindful of the deafening gap in our state. More than 100,000 children under 18 in communities across Nebraska don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. Our work is important and becomes especially humbling during a season devoted to abundance. During this holiday season we hope you will consider making a donation to Hunger Free Heartland that is meaningful to you.


Rachel Olive

Executive Director

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