Getting to know Callan Collins

NORFOLK — Nebraska Community Foundation is pleased to support this series and introduce readers to people in Northeast and North-Central Nebraska who are “Loving Where They Live.”

This series will be published every other Wednesday through December. Today, we are talking with Callan Collins of Norfolk. When she’s not spending time with her husband, Ben, and their two daughters, Collins is working to advance the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund’s mission to build a permanent endowment that creates and sustains innovative projects, services and opportunities that enhance the Norfolk area and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

* * *

How long have you lived in Norfolk?
My family and I moved to Norfolk in April 2018. We had previously lived in Kearney and Columbus but ultimately wanted to move back to the area where we both grew up.

What do you love most about your community?
Norfolk is lively. Whether its local theater, side-splitting comedy, live music or great dining, Norfolk offers a wide range of activities for the whole family. There are so many people here who want the best for their families and community. It is great to see people wanting to build this community, and the best part is that we know how to have fun doing it together!

Is there something special about Norfolk that is surprising, or that makes it unique?
Norfolk is thriving. The community has been progressive and receptive to new ideas and projects. The community is not afraid to work hard and invest to make positive changes happen. One great example is Embrace Park. This was a dream, and the community came together to build the playground, splash pad and new restrooms. Projects like this show that the community cares about the place they call home.

If you could change something about your hometown, what would that be?
Norfolk can be proud of the countless ways people of all ages and all walks of life are giving themselves to create a thriving, welcoming, attractive community. I would encourage people to get out and meet their neighbors, embrace each other and get involved.

How would you describe your community to a pen pal in another country?
Norfolk—Where you’ll find the charm and hospitality of a small town and the opportunities of a big city. You can spot a true local by their mispronunciation of our town’s name. We pronounce it “Nor-fork.”

What makes you most proud of your community?
The youths. Norfolk is filled with youths who want to make a positive impact. Each year at the Youth Philanthropy Contest, I see kids use their creativity, compassion and love of their community to make a difference. The kids come up with amazing ideas on how to change the world, right here in their own backyards and then implement their projects. Norfolk’s youths are empowered and engaged in creating a more compassionate and connected community.

What are your dreams for your hometown?
That the community continues to care for and support each other. To be an inclusive place that welcomes everyone to work together, learn together and laugh together.

What is your relationship to your local affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation?
I am the coordinator for the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund. I love how the NACFF is investing in giving back to the Norfolk community. The generosity of awesome donors is pooled together to create a powerful gift of grants for our community. We help support the whole community through grant-making opportunities for the emerging needs and opportunities in the Norfolk area. Thanks to the generous donors, we will continue to help enhance Norfolk now and for years to come.