In Memory of Richard Holland
Richard Holland, our founder, our leader, our inspiration and our beloved friend passed away last evening at the age of 95. As a young man and charter member of America’s greatest generation, Dick joined the U.S. Army in 1941 and served during World War II in both North Africa and Italy. Upon returning to Omaha to complete his education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Dick later to joined his father in a successful advertising business. He married the love of his life Mary and together raised four wonderful loving children, Dean, Barbara, Nancy and Mary Ann.
Dick founded the sister organizations, the Holland Children’s Institute and Holland Children’s Movement in 2014 to continue the public policy and advocacy work of Building Bright Futures. Dick’s greatest passion was for providing opportunities for children and families living in poverty. Dick had a vision of a world where every child has every opportunity to reach their full potential.
Dick was fiercely dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income families and leaves a legacy of life-changing efforts in his passionate wake. He helped lead the effort to restore prenatal care to every mother and child in Nebraska and spearheaded a successful ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour in Nebraska. This singular effort raised the income for thousands of hard working low-income families.
Dick was committed to ensuring every child has the opportunities they need to succeed right from the start. This led to his advocacy for paid family leave, the expansion of home visitation services, and increased access to quality healthcare and high-quality early childhood care and education. He supported the creation of statewide child care quality standards for Nebraska and tax credits for quality child care and education programs serving children facing the greatest economic barriers and the early childhood professionals they employ.
We have been deeply honored at the Holland Children’s Institute and Holland Children’s Movement to have had the pleasure to work with and receive the endless support of one of the greatest people to ever live on this earth. Richard Holland was a man of love, humor and generosity. We will continue to honor his work and the pursuit of his vision of a country and community of boundless opportunity for every child.
We are among the countless many whose dreams he made come true and whose dreams he will forever inspire.
John Cavanaugh, Sarah Ann Kotchian, Heath Mello, Jessica Lathrop