Mayor Issues Donation Challenge for Lincoln Littles

Lincoln, NE (February 7, 2022) Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today issued the “Mayor’s Big Challenge for Lincoln Littles,” to encourage community donations for the fourth annual Lincoln Littles Giving Day, Wednesday, February 9. Lincoln Littles promotes access to high quality early childhood care and education to build Lincoln’s workforce for the future.

The City has identified $100,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds to contribute to Lincoln Littles, and the Mayor is challenging the community match that amount by donating at

“Childcare is fundamental to Lincoln’s economic resilience and inclusion,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “Supporting access to high-quality childcare has a long-term positive impact on our children, families, workforce, and our collective future.”

The Mayor launched the challenge in partnership with the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) and the Lincoln Littles office for early childhood education and care to support lower-income families struggling because of the pandemic.

“The City’s partnership to raise funds for Lincoln Littles is a huge boost to working families and the educational enrichment of their children,” said Alec Gorynski, LCF President and CEO. “Mayor Gaylor Baird’s challenge is a great incentive for all of us to take part in the collective effort of Lincoln Littles Giving Day and support our youngest residents and community’s workforce.”

The Lincoln Littles initiative improves access to high quality early childhood education for lower-income families by providing tuition assistance. LCF launched the giving day 2019 in response to Prosper Lincoln’s community agenda and these findings from Lincoln Vital Signs:

  • About 77% of children under age six have all parents in the workforce compared to the nation average of 66.7%.
  • About 21% of Lincoln families with children under age six live in poverty or near poverty.
  • Lincoln parents at all income levels report expense as the biggest challenge to accessing high quality childcare.
  • In Nebraska, the annual cost of having an infant in childcare was more than the annual resident tuition and fees at UNL.

Lincoln Littles Giving Day, set to coincide with the week of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, has raised $2.4 million since its inception to support lower-income families in Lincoln in partnership with local individual and business philanthropists.

Lincoln Littles Giving Day matching sponsors include the Buffett Early Childhood Fund; Acklie Charitable Foundation; Harbor of Dreams, Inc.; Mae Whitmer Early Childhood Fund; Bettenhausen Family Foundation; Drs. Bob & Stacie Bleicher; Rosalind K. Carr in memory of Professor James D. Carr; Shirley and Jerry Daugherty; Barbara Hoppe and Bruce Johnson; Kile and Virginia Johnson; Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp.; U.S.A. Good Times Foundation; Kidwell Electric, Inc.; Lincoln Industries; Robert and Cynthia Milligan; Drs. Marilyn and David Moore; Nebraska Children and Families Foundation; Drs. Bob and Lisa Rauner; Sue and Al Saathoff; Rhonda Seacrest; Dr. Bob and Dottie Shapiro; Tom and Lisa Smith; Tom and Susan Tallman; Temme Family Foundation; Sue and Ed Tricker; Dr. Eileen and Richard Vautravers; and Ross and Judy Wilcox.

Donate or learn more at