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Monday, May 9, 2011

population-we™ Offers a Glimpse into CSI's Past and One Wild & Crazy Cabaret Night

This week's post will introduce population-we™(pop-we) readers to the history behind Omaha's Child Saving Institute (CSI) and get a glimpse into their upcoming marquee fund-raising event – Cabaret 2011.

Today the needs of children and youth in the Omaha metropolitan area are as diverse and complex as days past. More than a century later the Child Saving Institute has grown to offer more than 20 different services with 100 employees helping in this effort. All derived from the mission of the founder Rev. A.W. Clark -- “responding to the cry of a child.”

Child Saving Institute can trace its origins in the Omaha, NE., community to 1892 when Rev. Clark realized there was greater need among neglected and abandoned children he encountered. Due to the hazards of pioneer life, epidemics and poverty, many children were left in need of parental care in Nebraska. With the support of Rev. Clark's wife, Sarah, they both admitted the first child, a 7-year-old girl, to the Boys and Girls Aid Society which soon became Child Saving Institute. In 1911, with the help of a $25,000 donation from George Joslyn, the entire Omaha community celebrated the agency's move to a debt-free, state-or-art orphanage. For the next 65 years the agency provided services from that facility including safe haven for abandoned children, adoption and a home for unwed mothers.

While children still remained the primary focus, as the decades passed the needs expanded and challenges loomed as orphanages across the country and world were closed. Services were added including a hotline for parents, emergency short-term residential care for children whose families are in crisis, development childcare for low-income working parents, treatment childcare for children expelled from a typical childcare center, in-home service for families struggling to stay together, therapeutic and short-term foster care, pregnancy counseling and adoption for infants and older children.

This Saturday, May 14, the Child Saving Institute will unleash Cabaret 2011, the organization's marquee fundraiser at Omaha's Coco Key Convention Center. Proceeds from the night go to at risk families and children which CSI serves. This year's “Wild and Crazy” themed event will feature keynote address by Melissa Petersen who is best known for her starring role playing Barbra Jean on the hit sitcom “Reba.” She is also the host of Country Music Television's (CMT) No. 1-rated series “The Singing Bee.” She recently starred in her first televised special "Melissa Peterman: Am I the Only One." Petersen will present “The Crazy Blonde” at 8:30 p.m. The night also includes cocktails at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. To R.S.V.P. or for more details, visit

Visit for more information on Child Saving Institute.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
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