In 2019, Collective Impact Lincoln awarded $4,000 in mini-grants to Lincoln organizations and individuals working to improve their neighborhoods. Today, we’re taking a closer look at University Place Community Organization, or UPCO. Recently, we spoke with Keith Roland, a member of UPCO, about Uni Days, which occurred in 2019.
Civic Nebraska: Why was this project started?
Keith Roland: The event is a celebration of our historic neighborhood and is a way great way for residents, businesses, and other organizations to get involved in their community. Uni Days is also a way for UPCO to show our presence in the community and establish relationships with individuals, businesses, and organizations in our neighborhood.
How did Collective Impact Lincoln help you?
The mini-grant was used to help with various costs of the multi-day event, such as rental of the University Place Aquatic Center pool and payment of the band that played at the Whitehall Mansion potluck.
How did the program go? What success did you have?
Uni Days is a collection of individual events spread over several days. Some events were more successful than others. For instance, the “Pop with a Cop” was well attended, but the pool party was interrupted by a thunderstorm. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the pool party for later in the summer.
Uni Days is also a great opportunity for UPCO to recruit members and volunteers. One of the newest Board members began participating with UPCO through community events like Uni Days.
What was the impact of your project on the community or neighborhood?
Uni Days is starting to become an annual fixture for our neighborhood. Aside from the interaction with our neighbors and the recruitment of new members, we are also able to engage local businesses through sponsorships of events.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan on having future Uni Days. Our Board has not determined the exact schedule of events but will be doing so in the coming months.