Nonprofits gain new supporters, volunteers find their ‘fit’

 Melanie Phelan taking part in a business coaching day with RISE.
Melanie Phelan taking part in a business coaching day with RISE. (WOWT)
Published: Aug. 8, 2019 at 11:53 AM CDT
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Melanie Phelan has found it: her nonprofit fit. She was exploring

and by narrowing down her search, found

. Melanie uses her talents to serve this nonprofit which aims to help incarcerated individuals transition to a productive life after release.

Givers in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro have discovered

is a tool to easily to find ways to make a difference.

works to connect those interested in giving back to the community with an opportunity that fits their skills and interests. Whether you're looking for ways to donate



, SHARE Omaha makes it easy to “do good” across the Omaha metro.

Phelan sees her experience finding and serving RISE as life-changing.

"I chose to volunteer with RISE because I figured I could help with the business coaching. I had no idea how much meaning was behind this work and that I would be forever changed by it," Phelan said.

After one day of listening to personal stories and business pitches from individuals in the program, she decided she had found her fit and registered to volunteer again.

"Volunteers are priceless to our organization and to our program participants (Builders). Our volunteers not only provide guidance for professional scenarios our Builders will face upon reentering the community but offer a familiar face, mentorship and hope to help build a thriving community," said McKenzie Ring, Storyteller with RISE.

Phelan is not alone in her positive experience of volunteering with RISE. Other volunteers have said:

"The first time I volunteered for a RISE event, someone thanked me for treating them like a human. That was enough to bring me back a second time.”
"You see Builders who start their RISE journey with no self-confidence. No self-worth. Each time you volunteer and return to prison, you begin to see heads held a little bit higher. Genuine smiles. A sense of pride.”
"These individuals are filled with so much passion, creativity, and motivation - and RISE is able to bring that to the forefront.”
"The reason I continue to volunteer and be a huge supporter of RISE is that I've seen the impact the program has on incarcerated individuals and their families. It is a program that works, and it's making a huge difference in those who challenge themselves."

RISE has an upcoming Business Pitch Competition and is in need of volunteers at the Omaha Correctional Center.

to learn more about this opportunity and apply to volunteer.

There are thousands of ways to make a difference in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro. Find your fit at

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RISE graduates celebrate their completion of the RISE Program and receiving a certificate from
University of Nebraska Omaha's School of Business in Job Readiness.