In Lincoln, the most that most of us have had to sacrifice to the historic Nebraska flood of 2019 has been a flush or two of the toilet.
Or a long, hot bath, a clean load of laundry, a newly washed car.
But that doesn’t mean citizens haven’t gone out of their way to lend a hand to fellow Nebraskans in ways big and small.
Giving to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the church offering plate.
Here is a sampling of the ways:
Much help from Muchachos
Nick Maestas was scrolling Twitter on Saturday when the depth of the disaster got him thinking.
Maestas has a day job at Archrival, but started up a food truck business on the side a few years back. Muchachos serves smoked-meat tacos and tostados and hash chili, inspired by his love of barbecue and his grandparents’ cooking.
Usually, he serves his fare at breweries and weddings and local events, but Sunday, he found himself at the fire hall in Plattsmouth, feeding 35 to 40 volunteer firefighters who had been working nonstop filling sandbags with no end in sight.
“You could see the looks on their faces,” Maestas said Tuesday. “Just to be able to enjoy a hot meal with each other, enjoy life for a couple of minutes.”
Maestas had planned to shoulder the cost of the meal himself, but when his Twitter followers got word, he ended up with $1,000 (and six volunteer servers who made the trip with him).
The eight trays of pulled pork, buns, chips, bottled water and dessert he carted to Plattsmouth were enough for 300 people.
Leftovers for days to come, he said.
“They’ll probably be sick of pork.”
The food truck owner has money left over and plans to use it.
“We’re going to go out again this weekend, probably to Valley or Fremont.”
Runners to the rescue
It started with a Monday morning post on the Lincoln Running Co. Facebook page.
Store manager Ann Ringlein was heading to North Bend to deliver supplies. “My daughter is the grade school principal there and the town needs help,” she wrote. ”If you can donate anything we’d be glad to take it for you!”
Two days later, Ringlein had enough supplies dropped off at the store on Q Street to stuff seven cars. Everything from diapers to disinfectant to buckets and brooms.
“This is why I love Lincoln,” Ringlein said via email Tuesday. “One FB post on our page and BOOM!”
Stuff the bus
The Skyview Learning Academy did more than stuff a bus last weekend when it set up in the Super Saver parking lot at 56th Street and Nebraska 2.
The private Christian school south of Bennet handed out flyers to shoppers as they entered the grocery store and nearly every cart stopped with a donation on the way out.
“So far we have filled two semis, a 26-foot U-Haul and three trailers,” said Michele Ray, school director. “We have another semi that we’re rolling out on Friday.”
Total in pounds: 128,000.
The school is continuing its collection efforts from noon to 7 p.m. daily at 57th Street and Old Cheney Road — next to the Juice Stop — with supplies making their way north and west to Rock, Burt, Boyd, Cherry and Keya Paha counties.
“We will be open every day from now until the urgent needs have diminished,” the school wrote on its Facebook page. “PS — We need contact solution donated to us badly!!!”
School volunteers will also be at the south Menards location Saturday and Sunday, collecting supplies for rebuilding.
In solidarity with the Santee Sioux
When the Dandelion Network — a group of community organizers brought together by concerns over climate change and social justice — thought about ways to be of service during the flooding, they reached out to the Santee Sioux Tribe in northeastern Nebraska.
“Disaster aid isn’t always equitable,” said Dandelion member Ella Durham. “It seemed like a natural place for us to have an eye on.”
The network organized quickly Monday, after discovering a member was heading to Sioux City on Wednesday morning and was willing to ferry supplies to Santee, where flooding temporarily knocked out electricity and repairs to the water system are needed.
Collection sites include the Hot Mess bar on 11th Street (through closing Tuesday) and until 8 a.m. Wednesday at Goldenrod Pastries, 48th and Prescott Avenue.
Supplies will leave Lincoln at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday from The Hub, 1037 S. 12th St. The tribe is in need of baby food, diapers, menstrual supplies, Ensure for elders, bottled water, disposable diapers, baby wipes and formula.
And there's more
The Center for People in Need sent a truckload of supplies off to Fremont Baptist Church on Tuesday. B&R Stores and Super Saver are teaming with Cornhusker International Trucks through Friday to fill school buses with flood relief supplies and ship them to the Salvation Army for distribution. Volunteers from Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church filled 75 cleanup buckets and hygiene kits over the weekend, with 25 more to go.
#NebraskaStrong photos, videos
Nebraska City aerial
Operation Prairie Hay Drop photos
The #NEGuard has been supporting the ongoing response in Eastern Nebraska following massive flooding on the state’s river systems which began a week ago and caused catastrophic damage to the state’s infrastructure and agriculture.— NE National Guard (@NENationalGuard) March 21, 2019
(3/3)#NebraskaFlood #NebraskaStrong pic.twitter.com/N4zQ2zu2Zx
Missouri River at Nebraska 2/I-29
View of the Platte/Missouri
Edge of Offutt
North Bend ovation
Pence with rescuers
Americans like Brad Brown & his airboat co-pilot Jake Rohr are the heart of the heartland. Brad & Jake have been helping victims of the flooding & delivering much needed supplies. Grateful for their service & ALL the volunteers & emergency personnel helping Nebraskans in need! pic.twitter.com/l2PxhwX6a4— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 20, 2019
Lincoln help for Santee Sioux
Buying out the bleach
Help from North Platte
@GitRDoneLarry— Chandra Laine (@ChandraLaine) March 20, 2019
We are a group of volunteers gathering donations in North Platte Ne . We sent one semi to Fremont. We have two more semi trailers almost full.Get our 4th semi on Thursday. To the people, Your battle is our battle. We stand with you. We got you! ❤ #NebraskaStrong pic.twitter.com/wsDRTr0Tr9
Help for farmers
Thanks to generious donations to the Disaster Relief Fund, we were able to deliver supplies to farmers along the Niobrara River. We brought them milk replacement for calves and medicine. Help us do more good by donating to the fund: https://t.co/sFi40cxnwG #nebraskastrong pic.twitter.com/dAGUYDKFpo— Nebraska Farm Bureau (@NEFarmBureau) March 20, 2019
Niobrara ice chunks
Sandbagging at Cooper
Pence in Nebraska
Visited the relief shelter at Elkhorn Middle School today to let the Nebraska flood victims know @POTUS and I are WITH them & to thank the incredible military personnel & @RedCross volunteers helping those impacted. THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/ZA6X7qfeSi— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 20, 2019
I-680 Mormon bridge
Sasse surveying damage
Latest from NEMA
Repairing the roads
Beer fridge was stocked!
For those of you that don't know, our state of #Nebraska is going through record flooding. Sometimes though, the world sends you a break. These guys went to their #DuckCamp and found a fully-stocked #BeerFridge. #NebraskaStrong #Flood2019 pic.twitter.com/t8FvdqVQ3g— Fat Boy Wild Game (@gameseasonings) March 19, 2019
Flying in supplies
The Nebraska flooding is so heartbreaking but the whole state has stepped up to help. I can’t be more proud of my brother for flying his plane to Fremont with baby supplies to help. Proud to be from Nebraska #NebraskaFlood #NebraskaStrong @GMA pic.twitter.com/vFZVDj6lm6— Michelle Galles (@WakefieldFCCLA) March 19, 2019
Offutt before and after
I joined the Fremont National Guard in Nebraska today to get an aerial view of flooding impact as we traveled to thank volunteers in Fremont, NE, address a community meeting in Niobrara, and receive a briefing in Lynch.#NebraskaFlood | #NebraskaStrong | #FremontStrong pic.twitter.com/piEXa7TpIq— Scott (@FirstMinScott) March 19, 2019