For JoDee Altmann, it all started with a thought.

“I was thinking about how I wanted to take my children down to Nebraska to see the devastation firsthand and, in the season of Lent, learn to appreciate what we have and that what we think is bad is really not so bad compared to what others are experiencing,” said Altmann, whose idea has grown dramatically since she had that initial thought.

The plight of flood victims in much of Nebraska is very real, and the Altmann family has decided to help. Next week, they are going to make a trip south to deliver donations to those who are in need, and they are seeking help from the community. 

Altmann said the photos of the damage really had an impact on them, adding they could not imagine having their entire farm just washed away.

The idea of holding a collection was presented by the Altmanns at their 4-H meeting this past Sunday. The club voted to make a donation of $650, and from that point the project has just taken off, said Altmann, who has received donations of cash and items from many local businesses.

A conversation with an individual from Dodge County in Nebraska helped to hone the collection, as Altmann said she was told what is a big need now are larger livestock items, such as pails, feed, hay and feeding supplies.

So, that is what the Altmann family is collecting and will deliver next week.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church has donated its parking lot for the collection, and items are being accepted March 23 from 4-6 p.m., with a March 24 collection from 12-4 p.m. and March 26 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The plan is to leave Tuesday afternoon.

To learn more about the collection, contact Altmann at (507) 531-6174 or via e-mail at

– Photo courtesy of Nebraska Emergency Management