At Home in Greater Nebraska – Karen Nelson

What is the best thing about living in your community?
Bertrand is very committed to its children. It’s evident in the high-quality programs and support offered by school, churches, social groups and sports, and in the choices of community improvements such as the Frisbee golf course and new pool. It’s as though it’s taken for granted that the work of today’s adults will benefit the children of the community.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about returning to Greater Nebraska?
Do it! There’s a reason it’s called greater! The economics may look uncertain, but a little research will turn up opportunities for in-community employment, start-ups, and remote work that—while not the same—are as creative and plentiful as those in any urban or suburban area. Knowing your neighbors and having the wealth of opportunities to make a difference for your family and the community members you care about—and for them to be doing so at the same time—is invaluable.

What excites you when you think about the future of your community?
Bertrand is in a phase that I’d call Big Change, with capital letters essential. Storefronts on Minor Avenue have changed hands and, in many cases, changed occupants, and business seems to be going very well among both new and established enterprises. Significant investments in town infrastructure are ongoing, starting 15 years ago with the school’s east gym, then the water tower, and the just-opened preschool; and looking forward with the pool complex and eventual fire hall. The village has a new Communities for Kids core group looking to improve opportunities for childcare, and the hard work they have ahead will eventually pay dividends for a community that values its children as much as Bertrand does. Bertrand is home to hard work and vision for the future, and I’m so interested in seeing how this develops.

How would you describe your experience serving on your local affiliated fund?
Serving on a community fund advisory committee can be an eye-opening and fulfilling experience. You may not realize there’s a way you can contribute until you consent when someone asks for help.

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