The first ever Lincoln Littles Giving Day, held on February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, raised $637,397. Hosted by Lincoln Community Foundation, in partnership with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, the giving day raised funds for tuition assistance, which will allow more children in need to access quality early childhood education. The giving day and fund is a significant development toward the Prosper Lincoln Early Childhood community agenda goal of increasing accessible and affordable high-quality early childhood education.

“Hats off to this generous community,” said Barbara Bartle, President of Lincoln Community Foundation. “Abe would like this birthday gift. He said, ‘When I do good, I feel good.’ Lincoln, you should feel good today. Thank you for your generous support of the little ones in our community.”

Ten early childhood education providers have pre-qualified to receive funding to provide tuition assistance to low-income families including CEDARS, The Children’s Place, Community Action – Head Start, Educare Lincoln, Dimensions Education Programs at First-Plymouth, Fingerprints Child Development Center, Kids First Inc., KinderCare Learning Center, St. Mark’s Preschool/KIDZONE and World of Knowledge Child Development Center. They all are Step 2 or higher in Nebraska’s Step Up to Quality rating scale and are currently serving at least one child from a low-income family. Additional providers may receive grants from the fund as soon as they meet the qualifications.

Seed funding was granted by W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Lead gifts to the Lincoln Littles Early Learning Fund were made by Champions for Children: Harbor of Dreams, Helen Raikes in Honor of Senator Ron Raikes, Bob and Jan FitzSimmons, Jim and Penny Krieger Family Foundation, Mary and Matt Reckmeyer, Mae Whitmer and the Susan and Jim Stuart Charitable Trust.

The Lincoln Community Foundation, established in 1955, strives to continually enrich the Lincoln community by promoting and achieving perpetual philanthropic support. The foundation currently manages $127 million in assets and has distributed more than $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of residents.