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Omaha nonprofit teams up with fireworks store in midst of potential shortage

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 3:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s the second day of fireworks sales in Omaha and some items are already in short supply.

The tent in the Millard area is managed by Wild Willy’s Fireworks. They say finding enough of your favorite fireworks could be a bit more difficult as we bounce back from COVID shutdowns.

“So with COVID hitting all over the world, the production was shut down over in China so that of course transitions over here. So we only have like 60% of what we normally have for our tents this year. Some of our specials we have here on our first day and we don’t know if we’re going to get any more in this year, said Mike Hempel of Wild Willy’s Fireworks.

Wild Willy’s Fireworks officials say the best bet of course is to buy fireworks early. Nonprofits around the Omaha metro have relied on fireworks sales for funding and those organizations with a city permit are hoping the sales roll in.

Every year Completely KIDS helps about 2,000 children. The local nonprofit serves children and their families to make sure children are safe and healthy while parents complete their workday.

“We do that by adult education programs for our parents, we do it through after school programs for our children, we do it through mental health service programs for our families as a whole unit, as well as food initiative programs to help fight food insecurities,” said Lacey Locklear, Chief Development Officer of Completely KIDS.

She says the families in their programs really need the help.

“We target schools that have about a 75% free reduced lunch rate that we use as an indicator of poverty while the schools that we actually serve are upwards in the 90s,” said Locklear.

This year Completely KIDS will get a boost to their budget from fireworks sales. The Completely KIDS tent is located near 176th and Q.

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Melanie Van Blarcom and her son Joe are looking for fireworks. Jackson is their personal salesperson.

Melanie says it’s a bonus to be able to buy her son some fireworks and help other children at the same time.

“I think it’s awesome, I think anything to help kids and underprivileged children is great,” she said.

So everyone is a winner here.

Melanie gets to help others with her purchase, her son gets fireworks and Jackson gets a sale. Completely KIDS will get more money to help with their programs.

“The programs that we’re able to serve are helping our parents further their employment, helping them gain employment so they can support their families. The support that we’re providing academically to our children really enforce what they’re learning in the school day.”

Officials with Completely KIDS say 50% of the tents’ fireworks sales go to their organization. 40 nonprofits in Omaha received city permits to sell fireworks this 4th of July season.

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