BLUEBARN’s Giving Tree Going Strong

 - 6 years ago, BLUEBARN Theatre’s Artistic Director Susan Clement-Toberer was looking for a way to give back to a community that has given so much. She knew of the initiatives like Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army Tree of Lights, which help children and families during the Holiday season, but she didn’t find much in the way of holiday assistance towards Omaha’s elderly.

After some research, she came across the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, a non-profit dedicated to helping older Nebraskans live independently and stay in their homes for as long as possible. After hearing about how many of our community’s elderly go without any gifts over the holidays, the solution was simple.

“We set up a Giving Tree. What we do is we have names of elders on ornaments. The names are from elders in our own community. We then sell the ornaments during the run of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.

After the run, Clement-Toberer goes out and buys gift cards which are given to various members of Omaha’s elderly community. What started modestly more than half a decade ago, has now become a staple of the BLUEBARN season.

“This is our 6th season. Last year, we raised $4000. The first year we raised $500 and every year it’s gone up and up. This year we are going for $4500. I just think it’s so important to help the elders in our community.”

With passing year and each goal reached, Clement-Toberer attributes the programs success to the underlying spirit of good works that runs throughout Omaha.

“It says that the people here are so generous. Generous in nature, in spirit, and monetarily. It’s one of the strongest things I can say about a community. It’s why, when I moved here, I ended up staying here.”

The BLUEBARN Theatre’s Giving Tree will be around through the run of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol until December 22nd. More information can be found at http://www.bluebarn.org or by calling 402-345-1576.

- Keep an eye out for loads of auditions in the metro area in the coming weeks including:

BLUEBARN will be auditioning for the Regional Premiere of Will Eno’s Gnit on December 9th and 10th.

Omaha Playhouse’s 21 & Over Series will be auditioning for Tigers Be Still and We are Proud to Present a Presentation… on December 16th and 17th.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

posted at 09:50 pm
on Monday, December 02nd, 2013

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