Cooper Foundation Awards Third Quarter Grants at September Board Meeting

Friday, September 29, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. — The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees awarded a grant of $20,000 to Foster Care Closet towards general operating to support emergency services and meet the immediate needs of youth entering foster care. Foster Care Closet’s goal is to restore dignity to youth in crisis through the agency’s pre-placement services and to provide a clean, comfortable, welcoming environment for youth to wait while proper placement can be found for their new foster home. Through this service Foster Care Closet seeks to minimize the trauma foster kids experience during the initial placement process and increase the likelihood of keeping siblings together.

Foster Care Closet seeks to reach every ward of the state to connect each child with five new outfits twice a year including shoes, socks, underwear, seasonal outerwear, hygiene, and comfort items. These continued support services are provided at 4 locations in Lincoln, Beatrice, Kearney, and North Platte. A Mobile Closet bus enables the agency to increase outreach across the state and partner with local foster care agencies to coordinate donated items. To learn more, visit,

In addition, the Foundation approved twelve grants to a diverse group of arts, civic and community engagement, environment, and human services organizations. In total, $179,500 was awarded; grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.


Lincoln Music Teachers Association: $7,500
Towards the Music Outreach Program (MOP), which provides advanced music study for students who want to improve their skills but do not have the financial means for private lessons.

Lincoln Orchestra Association: $10,000
General operating support for Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra 2023-2024 season.

Civic and Community Engagement

Coalition for a Strong Nebraska: $7,500
General operating support. Coalition for a Strong Nebraska (CSN) is a statewide, nonpartisan coalition that supports structural and collective policy solutions impacting poverty.


Wachiska Audubon Society: $15,000
Staffing support for the Executive Director position. The mission of Wachiska is to bring people together to preserve and restore native tallgrass prairies and natural ecosystems, promote birding, support native wildlife, provide nature education, and advocate for sustainability of the natural community.

Human Services

Asian Community and Cultural Center: $20,000
General operating support for this cultural center that serves all immigrants and refugees in Lincoln and surrounding areas.

The Bridge Behavioral Health: $20,000
Towards operating support. The Bridge is a nationally accredited treatment center specializing in the provision of individual and group care, recovery services, and residential and outpatient services for those struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.

Food Bank of Lincoln: $7,500
Staffing support for the Media and Communications Assistant position.

Foster Care Closet: $20,000
General operating support.

Friendship Home: $20,000
Staffing support for the position of Program Database Coordinator and the transition to a new program database system.

Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity: $15,000
Support for the Repairs Program and the position of Repairs Program Manager.

Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach: $15,000
Staffing support for the position of Human Resources Manager.

United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County: $22,000
Towards the 2023 annual campaign.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $27 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The Foundation makes quarterly grants supporting the arts, civic and community engagement, education, environment, the humanities, and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant guidelines and deadlines, visit the foundation’s web site,

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