Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Community (page 1 of 34)

2019 Back-to-School Social Giveaway Winner

Help us in congratulating Sheri Hink-Wagner of Imperial, NE on being our Back-to-School Social Giveaway winner! She shared that her favorite part of the season is, “getting the routine back. Plus picking out new school supplies. The return of jeans and sweater season is a plus too.” As our winner, she will receive a 16 GB Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet and a $100 Amazon gift card!

We want to thank everyone who entered our giveaway, and tell you there is still another way you can win this school year! Check out our Back-to-School promotion going on through September 27.

Sign up for new or upgraded Internet speeds and receive up to a $100 Amazon gift card!

Head back to school with high-speed Internet from Great Plains Communications! To find out more or to sign up for this promotion, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2019 Summer Event Schedule

Being a part of the communities we service has always been very important to Great Plains Communications. While we are an active member of many local chambers of commerce, we also encourage employee involvement and always look forward to the summer season when we can tour the state to take part in different local parades bull rides and other events. Here is a list of our 2019 summer tour:

Saturday, July 13, 2019: Chadron Fur Trade Days in Chadron, NE

Saturday, July 20, 2019: Perkins County Fair in Grant, NE

Monday, July 29, 2019: Custer County Bull Riding Classic in Broken Bow, NE

Thursday, August 8, 2019: Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama in Bloomfield, NE

Thursday, August 8, 2019: Thayer County Fair in Deshler, NE

Saturday, August 10, 2019: Old Settler Days in Indianola, NE

Friday & Saturday, August 16 & 17, 2019: Chase County Fair in Imperial, NE

Along with walking in the parade, we will be sponsoring the Hairball concert Friday night, so watch for our employees at the front gates for a free t-shirt while supplies last!

Saturday, September 28, 2019: Heritage Days in McCook, NE

So, if you are in the area for any of these events, keep an eye out for our employees and give us a wave or stop and say hello!

Congratulations to our Pick Your Prize Giveaway Winner!

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Pictured: Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE with her husband, Doug Mitchell and their grandson, Karson.

Help us in congratulating our Pick Your Prize Social Media Giveaway winner, Shelley Mitchell of Imperial, NE! By sharing a gif showing her favorite thing about spring on our Facebook page, she was given the option to choose between a $200 Visa gift card or a 5-Burner Open Cart LP Gas Grill in Stainless Steel and Black with Side Burner. Shelley has chosen to receive the grill as her prize!

The Pick Your Prize Giveaway is part of our Pick Your Spring Savings promotion that is currently going on through May 17. While we were only able to have one winner for our social media giveaway, you can still receive up to a $100 bill credit by taking advantage of this promotion! Here is how to do it:

  • Sign up for NEW Internet service or upgrade your current speed and receive up to a $100 bill credit!
  • Bundle with TV, Phone or both and receive an ADDITIONAL $25 bill credit!
  • + FREE installation on all new services

To sign up for this great deal or to learn more, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. And again, help us in congratulating Shelley Mitchell on winning our Pick Your Prize Giveaway!

2019 Grant Winners and Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Each year, Great Plains Communications is proud and honored for the chance to support our communities through our “Commitment to Our Schools” program. This year we were able to present five grants, totaling just under $20,000. We would like to take this time to again congratulate all of our 2019 grant recipients as well as our 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Broken Bow Public Schools – $2,000 Grant

The grant will be used to support the development of a modern Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab. The lab includes a vinyl cutter, Makey-Makeys, circuit boards, a button maker, Dash and Dot robots, several agricultural related kits, and more. Funding from Great Plains Communications will be used to help obtain a 3D printer that will be available to all middle and high school students throughout the school day and will become a part of the curriculum for their newly formed STEM club.

 

Cody-Kilgore Elementary School – $4,500 Grant

cody kilgore

The school plans to use the money to support the implementation of a mobile Chromebook lab for the lower elementary students. As a Google school, Cody-Kilgore students in grades 4-12 are 1:1 utilizing Chromebooks. The lab will help the younger students familiarize themselves with the devices and technology, better preparing them for advanced grade levels.

 

Creighton Community Public Schools – $5,000 Grant

The funds will be used to purchase technology equipment for the development of a Radio and Television studio. The studio will not only provide students with first-hand experience with radio and television technology, but it will also serve as a vehicle to deliver school news to the community.

 

Perkins County Elementary School – $2,500 Grant

The grant will be used to support the development of an Aquaponics Lab. Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) that grows fish and plants together in one combined system. Amanda Wood, Science Teacher at Perkins County Elementary shared her beliefs that children need to be exposed to the amazing areas of science at an early age to ignite their passion to seek and understand more of the world around them.

 

Riverside Public Schools – $5,000 Grant

The school is currently in the beginning stages of developing a STEM lab and plans to use the Great Plains Communications funds to purchase equipment such as a 3D printer and filaments, Dash and Dot robots and accessories. These devices will provide Riverside students with hands-on opportunities to create solutions to real-world problems and will provide an alternative to traditional learning protocols.

Along with the grant, Riverside Public Schools teacher, Julie Rankin was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year accompanied by a check for $5,000. Throughout her career, which began in 1993, Rankin has shown tireless dedication as a teacher of multiple academic subjects for 5th and 6th-grade students for Spalding Public and Riverside Public Schools. When asked to describe the rewards she finds in teaching, Ms. Rankin answered, “One of the greatest rewards is teaching students to believe in themselves and the ability to persevere when things become difficult. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they finally understand a difficult concept or task is priceless to me. I absolutely love finding ways to teach a child new things.”

Help us in congratulation all of our grant winners, as well as Julie Rankin, our 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Year!

Flood Relief Information

If you are looking for ways to help victims of the March 2019 flood by giving either a monetary donation or physical donation of supplies, we have listed different options below:

American Red Cross

To make a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief:

  • Visit redcross.org and select ‘I want to Support Disaster Relief’
  • Call 1-800-RED CROSS
  • Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation
  • Mail a check to American Red Cross, 2912 S. 80th Ave, Omaha NE 68124

Salvation Army

As the Salvation Army continues working alongside first responders and authorities throughout impacted areas of Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa, you can donate to their disaster survivors fund here on their website.

Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee is working to raise funds for the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Southwest Iowa. Customers can donate any amount at the register or customer service counter and Hy-Vee will then match consumer donations up to $50,000.

Airbnb

Airbnb has activated its Open Home Program for local residents displaced, as well as relief workers deployed to flood impacted areas. The program was activated on March 14 and recruits hosts who are willing and able to provide free housing to affected individuals. This will be available until April 3. Find more information here on their website.

Raising Cane’s

Rising Cane’s restaurants located in Lincoln, Norfolk, Kearney, Grand Island and North Platte will donate 15% of all sales between 5 and 9 p.m. today, March 20, to The Salvation Army’s flood-relief efforts. The restaurants are also serving as donation drop-off sites during regular business hours through Sunday, March 24.

Items needed:

Cleaning supplies: mops, shovels, disinfectants, bleach, wipes, masks, gloves, paper towels, rags, trash bags

Personal hygiene items: soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene items

Bottled water

*The Raising Cane’s restaurant in Fremont will also be accepting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Sunday, March 24, but will NOT be participating in the fundraiser today due to food suppliers unable to deliver.

Kearney Area Community Foundation

The Kearney Area Community Foundation has set up a Disaster Relief Fund to help those in the Kearney area. If you wish to donate to the local area, go to www.kearneyfoundation.org/donate and choose “Disaster Relief Fund” from the drop-down menu.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture

If you are willing to provide hay, feed, fencing materials, equipment, etc. please contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at 1-800-831-0550. They note that you should be prepared to share your name, contact information and what you are willing to donate, along with your location. NDA staff will gather this information and identify needs accordingly. A list of disaster relief resources for Nebraska farmers and ranchers can also be found at http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/resources/.

North Bend, NE – The Donation Depot at NBC

As the area works to clean after the water has receded, they are asking for please no clothing items, but emphasizing the need for:

Push brooms, squeegee mops, hand sanitizer, scoop shovels, rubber gloves, dehumidifiers

Niobrara Flood Relief Fund

The Bank of Hartington has set up a City of Niobrara Relief Fund that you can donate through Venmo, the QR code on their Facebook page or here at their website.

Arlington Public Schools

The community of Arlington has shared their gratitude for the support and donations give, they are now in need of boxes or new plastic totes.

Nebraska Strong Shirts

You can find an assortment of colored Nebraska Strong t-shirts for sale at https://cishirts.com/shop/stores/nebraska-strong where all profits will go to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Relief Fund, which was created to aid Nebraska farmers, ranchers and rural communities impacted by the flood.

 

If your business has been impacted by the recent flooding and you need guidance on what to do next, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry wants to help. Please reach out to the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Disaster Help Desk at 1-888-My-Biz-Help (888-692-4943) or visit https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/disaster-response-and-community-resilience/disaster-help-desk.

 

 

Congratulations to Our Fit Social Giveaway Winner!

Jenni Joedeman and her family

Help us in congratulating our Fit Social Giveaway winner, Jenni Joedeman of Stapleton, NE! By liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, the post and tagging her workout buddy in the comments, she has won a Fitbit Charge 3™. This advanced fitness tracker helps monitor steps, calories, 24/7 heart rate, sleep tracking and much more!

Even if you didn’t win this giveaway, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many resources online to find support in getting healthy and reaching your goals this year. One example would be the LiveWell Challenge, formerly known as the NE150 Challenge, here in Nebraska.

So, what is the goal behind the LiveWell Challenge?

It is a group of Nebraska organizations, business and schools joining together with the Nebraska Sports Council in effort to get Nebraskans to complete 150 miles or more of physical activity throughout the year. This doesn’t have to just be running or walking, but bicycling, swimming, hiking, etc. Then if you wish to participate, you create a free account at LiveWellNebraska.com and log your miles. It is a way to connect with others reaching for the same goals across the state. They will also include events and articles on healthy living throughout the year.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our Fit Social Giveaway and again congratulate Jenni Joedeman on being randomly selected as our winner!

Congratulations to our Social Media Giveaway Winner – Debra Wegner!

Help us in congratulating our Make it Snow Social Media Giveaway winner, Debra Wegner of Scribner, Nebraska! By liking our Facebook page, the giveaway post and commenting with her favorite snow gif, (emojis were also accepted) she has won an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet!

The giveaway is part of our holiday promotion, which is still going on and that means there are still ways to win this season!

Discover the magic of savings with our new Value Bundle and you could receive up to a $100 bill credit.

The Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded Equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features

New Internet customers can sign up for the bundle now and receive $100 bill credit and FREE installation. If you are currently a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but are looking to increase your speed to better fit your family’s needs, receive a $25 bill credit when you upgrade now. Call to find out what speeds are available in your area and sign up for this great deal – 1-855-853-1483!

A Donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America, Great Plains Chapter

From left to right: Tom Timmerman, John Scott, Dave Nelson, Dick Helvey, Chris Crews, Randy Squier, Mark Linquist, and Seth Kotouc

We are excited to announce that due to the overwhelming outpouring of support through social media, Great Plains Communications will be donating $1,000 to the Great Plains Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in addition to the 25 Amazon Fire tablets!

Veteran, Dave Nelson with one of the 25 tablets donated to Great Plains PVA

Veteran, Dave Nelson with one of the 25 tablets donated to Great Plains PVA

Great Plains PVA is a non-profit organization that has dedicated over 46 years to helping paralyzed veterans and their families, as well as other children and adults with disabilities. They have their hand in advocating for solutions that afford equal opportunities for paralyzed veterans and other citizens living with disabilities, as well as effective healthcare for veterans living with a spinal cord injury or disease. Along with being a voice in legislation, Great Plains PVA is on the ground helping provide necessary resources such as handicapped accessible apartment complexes located across Nebraska as well as the one-of-a-kind Great Plains PVA Adapted Health & Fitness Center with individualized training programs.

Veteran, Dave Nelson shares his tattoo

Veteran, Dave Nelson shares his tattoo

We are honored to be able to support such an impactful and incredible organization. If you would like to learn more about Paralyzed Veterans of America Great Plains Chapter or how you can give, visit their website at http://greatplainspva.org/site/.

2018 Halloween Safety Tips

Jack-o’-lanterns line the sidewalk, patiently waiting to greet your little Dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and an assortment of candy fills each bucket and bag. Tomorrow is the big night, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.

Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.

Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!

Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and skeletons walking the streets.

For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year in the comments section on our Facebook page.

Meet a Customer Service Rep – Jerome Hilton

Customer service representatives are often the first point of contact a person has with a company. They are the voice to a brand and Great Plains Communications (GPC) takes pride in having not only a knowledgeable and friendly Customer Response Center, but a uniquely local one right here in Nebraska.

Sometimes it can be hard to humanize the voice on the other end of the phone. But we want to do just that by highlighting one of our representatives, Jerome Hilton.

Jerome Hilton – Customer Response Representative

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from South Sioux City NE, I moved to Blair in 2005 and have lived here since.

 

Q: How long have you worked at GPC?

A: I have worked here for 2 ½ years.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about working in customer service?

A: I ultimately enjoy the interaction with customers. It might be helping sign someone up for new services or turning a negative experience into a positive one. I strive to help provide whatever service they are looking for.

 

Q: On a typical day, how many calls would you estimate that you take?

A: On a typical day, I would say I answer between 30-40 calls.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at GPC?

A: My favorite thing would have to be the culture and my co-workers, they make the days fun and enjoyable. We also have food days, so we can enjoy each other’s cooking.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I have three children and two cats, so definitely doing things with them. But I am also a big sports fan! My teams are Nebraska Cornhuskers and Kansas City Chiefs for football and I enjoy watching the University of Syracuse Orange for college basketball. With the weather getting cold, I am also getting excited for ice fishing. I will either go out to Desoto National Wildlife Refuge or travel up to South Sioux City to fish for trout with my brother.

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