LINCOLN, Neb. — Back in 1947, the Reverend Charles & Alberta Danner saw a need in Lincoln to give foster children a chance to experience a real childhood and begin planning for the future.
Now, nearly 70 years later, Cedars Home for Children continues to be the light in a child's sometimes dark world.
“They had a little house at 15th and Benton, out in the Belmont area," Jim Blue, the president of Cedars, said, telling the story of the Danners. "They began taking kids that had no other safe place to spend the night into their home."
The Danners developed a relationship with the Sertoma Club of Lincoln and gave their new organization the name 'Cedars.'
"Because there were a bunch of scrub cedar trees in front of the Danners at 15th and Benton," Blue added.
For nearly seven decades, the Cedars Home for Children has a built a reputation in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska as a place that serves kids the right way.
"Which is compassion but bringing in some of the greatest talent from the state and beyond to try to pursue the mission of this organization and I was well aware of that and I have been honored to be part of this team for 25 years now," Blue added.
Blue said that Cedars is a grassroots organization with a staff of more than 200 people that are dedicated to helping kids who have experienced abuse, neglect or homelessness and their goals are simple.
"Safety brings stability and helps build family for these kids," he said."There will be over 300 kids staying with us tonight in our shelter and wonderful foster families."
On any given day, Cedars impacts at least 1,000 kids and without the support of the community that vital work here in the capital city doesn't get done.
Blue said that 20 percent of their annual budget comes from donations.