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Reaching Out to Those Around Us: The Nelnet Way

August 20, 2015

Nelnet supports people and communities in need every day. We lend our hand to community programs such as the Ronald McDonald House of Aurora and the Lincoln City Impact’s Gifts of Love holiday store. By reaching out to those around us, we can help improve the communities in which we live and work.

Our Colorado associates support the Ronald McDonald House of Aurora, a charity that offers a loving place to stay for families who need to be near their seriously ill or injured children while they are being treated at a hospital far from home. We support this program in three ways: by buying, cooking, and serving dinners, donating household supplies, and sponsoring the Light the House campaign. Typically, our associates serve 75 houseguests and volunteers at each meal we provide, and often donate paper plates, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies to the house.

Associates also volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House of Aurora’s annual Light the House radio-thon campaign, of which Nelnet is a corporate sponsor. Last year, this event raised over $207,000, allowing the House to host 45 families each night, year-round. These families are then able to receive nutritious meals and a comfortable living space while their loved ones receive medical care.

Associates show off their love for volunteering with Ronald McDonald himself.

Associates show off their love for volunteering with Ronald McDonald himself.

In Nebraska, because roughly 18% of children live in poverty, our Lincoln office partakes in City Impact’s Gifts of Love holiday store. Last December, our associates donated 248 toys, 18 bikes with seven helmets, $2,906 and $190 in gift cards to the holiday store, where low-income families were able to purchase holiday gifts at 70% off retail value. By offering gifts at discounted prices, families in need may shop for their loved ones with dignity.

“I’ve volunteered at Gifts of Love for the past three years and absolutely love being part of such an amazing event,” says Claudia Hernandez, Bilingual Assistant Account Manager at Nelnet. “Helping people is one of the things I love most and being able to do it through work is even better.”

Nelnet also helps fund Lincoln City Impact’s Impact Reading Center, a program designed to help every student in the Lincoln Public School system read at or above grade level. By increasing reading skills at a young age, we believe we can lower drop-out rates, as well as help create a more educated world. Watch this video to see the impact this program has made on children.

Day by day, dollar by dollar, Nelnet aims to improve the lives of those in our communities. For more information about the organizations Nelnet supports, you may visit their websites at,, or

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