History: Fair Share for Share A Fare
On May 20, 1989, the concept of offering affordable transportation for the blind and visually impaired in Greater Omaha began. The Omaha chapter of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) worked to overcome the challenges of this problem by developing a concrete program called Share A Fare.
At its May meeting in 1989, members of the Omaha chapter of the ACB discussed subsidized taxi service for the blind and visually impaired for the Greater Omaha area. By that summer, a survey was distributed to eligible individuals to assess the need for such a service. Not surprisingly, most said they would use it if it was available. The concept became known as "Share A Fare”. By 1995, the Omaha Chapter of ACB launched a pilot program.
Fundraising activities such as candy bar sales, Christmas boutiques, benefit dances held at a local Eagles Club, and an all-you-can-eat spaghetti buffet at a local Italian restaurant in La Vista helped to spark this fledgling program.
Share A Fare Board of Directors recognized the need to form its own corporation. Share A Fare, now known as Share A Fare Inc, became a 501(c)3 organization on March 21, 2008.
Letter and grant writing by the Board of Directors became the optimal way to fundraise for the organization. Grant writing and fundraising are on-going endeavors. Until 2016, the Board elected to fundraise rather than pay a grant writer, allowing all funds to go directly to the program; however, recognizing the need to reach ever widening avenues for funds, it contracted with a grant writer to assist on a limited basis in April 2017.
Blind members fill a majority of the board positions, which is in keeping with Share A Fare’s philosophy of the blind working on behalf of the blind.
The Alan & Marsha Baer Foundation kicked-off fundraising with a small donation in 1989. The Ethel S Abbott Charitable Foundation donated an annual gift for ten years beginning in 1997. A one-time grant was received from the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, paid in two annual installments. Since 2002, the Oliver & FERROL Barklage Foundation has continued to provide support. The Omaha Association of the Blind has been a generous and faithful supporter almost since Share A Fare’s inception.
The Share A Fare Board of Directors soon recognized that although the fundraising efforts of the Omaha Chapter of the American Council of the Blind had raised start-up funds, larger donations through grant writing would be necessary to sustain the program.
In 1993, Share a Fare learned that the Ethel S Abbott Charitable Foundation wanted to become an annual supporter of the organization. The first gift from this grant was received in 1997; the award was announced at a press conference at the Happy cab offices on February 12 at 9:00 am. Share A Fare was awarded an annual gift for 10 years.
In 2001, the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired sought requests for proposals; Share A Fare received one of these grants.
One of the primary missions of the Oliver & FERROL Barklage Foundation is blindness, so Share A Fare is a natural fit. The Foundation has graciously supported the program for nearly two decades.
A one-time contribution was received in 2011 from the Nebraska state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind.
With a grant from the Omaha Venture Group, Share A Fare, Inc. updated its website, and brochures, and enhanced its Facebook page in 2015.
Although Share A Fare began receiving funding from the Omaha Association of the Blind (OAB) in 1993, OAB provided additional funding in 2004, 2005, 2006 and to support individuals whose vision may not reach the definition of legal blindness, but are otherwise unable to drive due to poor vision. OAB’s ongoing and generous support has made it possible for Share A Fare to continue its daily operations.
At a grant reception in 2017 Share A Fare was presented a $5,000 check from the Midlands Community Foundation. Below is a photo of the Midlands Community Foundation 2017 fall grant recipients.
While the board of directors continues to seek funding from identified sources, tax-deductible contributions by private citizens and corporations are welcomed and encouraged. Please send contributions to:
Share A Fare, Inc.
PO Box 6253
Omaha Ne 68106-0253
Donations can also be made online via PayPal by clicking the “donate” button.
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This webpage updated 6-7-2018.