100 + People Who Care – Grinnell Continue Offering Help During Pandemic – Nominations for the 3rd Quarter, 2020

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100 + People Who Care – Grinnell Continue Offering Help During PandemicNominations for the 3rd Quarter, 2020

100 + People Who Care – Grinnell will not be holding their regular quarterly meeting in July, due to COVID-19 precautions.  Instead, members will again be voting with their dollars by writing checks to support area organizations.  Again this quarter, 100 + People Who Care – Grinnell members nominated organizations they know to be helping meet the urgent needs in the community resulting from or accentuated by the pandemic, and a total of 7 organizations were nominated. 

Members offering nominations this quarter included Nicole Brue-Behrens, Jennifer Cogley, Liz Hansen, Chris Hunter, Barbara Norman, Abby Petiq, Evan Petiq, Gayle Strickler and Kyle Wilcox.  

This nomination process also opens awareness of pressing needs to all members of the community.  Residents of Grinnell and the surrounding area are urged to write checks to one or more of the organizations on the list in order to help meet the basic human needs of our community in the face of the COVID-19 emergency. 

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100 + People Who Care – Grinnell Nominations for the 3rd Quarter, 2020

Seven organizations were nominated in the spring for COVID-19 related support.  All seven were contacted to determine whether there is an ongoing need for funding, or if the organization’s funding streams are sufficiently meeting the current need.  Of the seven, four reported they’re “doing o.k.” at present:  CoSI, Small Business Relief Fund, GRMC – COVID Relief fund, and MICA Rent Assistance. 

The other three reported an ongoing need for funding, related to their COVID response.  These are presented as “continuing” nominations (in alphabetical order)

Grinnell Food Coalition (GFC)

            COVID-19 continues to impact food security for a number of families in our community.  GFC is serving 100 families (nearly 300 individuals).  The funds are used for a food voucher program, currently 

$ 90 every two weeks for a family of four.  (Vouchers cannot be used for alcohol, lottery tickets, tobacco products or gift cards.)  Coalition members are paying all administrative costs, so 100 % of every contribution can be applied directly to the purchase of food vouchers.  At the current rate of distribution, available funds will be depleted by the end of 2020.  With high unemployment rates continuing, the demand is not anticipated to lessen.  

            Donations are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        Ahren’s Family Foundation – Grinnell Food Coalition

                        Mail checks to:            Ahren’s Family Foundation

                                                            P.O. Box 284

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

                        Online donations to:   https://ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/donate-online/ (use drop-down menu to find GFC.  

LINK Grinnell

            LINK Grinnell, a 501(c)3 organization, began summer programming for children on June 1.  A 10-week program is currently underway.  In order to follow best practices and COVID-related precautions, two DHS-approved sites are being used:  Davis and Bailey Park schools.  Small “pods” of children are utilized, so each child is placed and stays with a consistent small group of children and leader.  With the added safety protocols, the costs are much higher than a typical summer program.  Donations last quarter funded no-cost participation for children of essential workers, and helped extend service hours to meet needs of those families. 

            LINK Grinnell will continue to provide child-care services and programming when the new school year begins, so the need for funding is ongoing.

            Donations are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        LINK Grinnell – Essential Child Care

                        Mail checks to:            LINK Grinnell

                                                            Attn:  Chad Nath, Director

                                                            P.O. Box 284

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) Food Pantry

            The MICA Food Pantry continues to meet the food insecurity needs of area residents, serving, primarily, residents of Poweshiek County.  MICA is able to purchase basic food items through the Iowa Food Bank network.  Typical items available are produce, cereal, peanut butter, frozen meat, tuna, and milk.  

            The economic downturn resulting from the pandemic has accentuated food security issues for many families.  For too many whose economic reality is living one paycheck away from disaster, the MICA Food Pantry is a vital source of nutritional assistance.  

            Donations are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        Poweshiek County MICA Food Pantry

                        Mail checks to:            Poweshiek County MICA

                                                            609 4th Avenue

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

Two new COVID-19 related nominations have been received.  They are (in alphabetical order):

Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation (GNSF) – Safe Return to School

            School will be starting in August!  This year’s start, however, will be unlike ANY before!  GNSF, in collaboration with the Grinnell Newburg Community School District (GNCSD), is requesting funds to provide PPE and safety resources for students, teachers, staff, bus drivers, custodians, paraeducators and administrators.

            The GNCSD mitigation plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was developed with Grinnell area physicians and public health officers.  As social distancing will be very difficult to achieve, students must be protected by using face masks, face shields, and other physical barriers.  A team of school employees is, even now, working to build plexiglass desk shields at a cost of $ 34,000 for materials.  Additionally, funds will be needed to provide for a deep cleaning of the five school buildings on a daily basis.  Supplies of hand sanitizers, thermometers, gloves, disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies, tissues, etc. will be needed on an ongoing basis.  All donations will be utilized to help provide a safe environment for students as learning returns to the classroom.

            Donations to the GNSF are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        Grinnell Newburg School Foundation

                        Mail checks to:            GNSF

                                                            P.O. Box 344

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112 

                        Online donations to:   https://grinnellsf.org/

Poweshiek County Housing Assistance Fund

            This fund was started in 2020 to address county-wide housing-related needs.  It is intended to assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless through the support of rental deposits, utilities, legal documents, etc., needed to rent or to reimburse landlords for related expenses. The fund grows from the work of a 25-member coalition that began meeting in 2019.  It worked to assess the need for affordable housing (at or below $ 525/month), and found there is a significant unmet need.  The pandemic has only accentuated that need for families striving to find adequate housing in the county.  Funding is determined on a case-by-case basis, and dollars are transmitted directly to landlords or public entities.  

            With the Ahrens Foundation serving as the fiscal agent, donations are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        Ahrens Foundation – Poweshiek Housing Assistance Fund

                        Mail checks to:            Poweshiek Housing Assistance Fund

                                                            P.O. Box 284

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

                        Online donations to:   https://ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/donate-online/ (use drop-down menu to find Poweshiek Housing Assistance Fund)

Two more “general” applications were also received.  In both cases, the focus on COVID-related needs has constrained resources available for other priority projects, which are now being nominated.  They are (in alphabetical order):

Grinnell Education Partnership (GEP)

            This program, started in 2014, is a local initiative with a number of strong community partners, aligned with the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading, whose goal is to ensure that all children are reading at grade level by 3rd grade.  GEP broadens the scope to embrace all students (early childhood – young adulthood) in its work to close the achievement gap.  Scores related to readiness to learn and reading proficiency have gone up significantly, while absenteeism has been cut dramatically.  Eighty-eight percent of 3rd graders tested “proficient” in 2018, vs. 79 % just two years earlier.  GEP seeks to continue its broad-based efforts to ensure Grinnell Newburg students are achieving to their greatest potential, in spite of a pandemic.  

            With the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation serving as the fiscal agent, all donations are fully tax deductible.  

            Write checks payable to:        Grinnell Education Partnership

                        Mail checks to:            Grinnell Education Partnership

                                                            P.O. Box 344

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

                        Online donations to:   https://greaterpcf.org/online-donations (look for GEP in the drop-down menu)    

Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) – Fracture Casting Room

            A key emphasis of GRMC Foundation in the early days of the pandemic was purchasing pulse oximeters for COVID positive patients.  Donations from 100 + People Who Care were instrumental in enabling an adequate, available supply of these.  

            Now, the hospital is preparing to welcome a new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Tedesco, in September.  In order to provide patients with high-quality, comprehensive orthopedic care, a new designated fracture casting room is being created.  Specialized equipment, including a fracture table and casting saw, is needed.  In 2019, more than 600 people in the service area needed orthopedic care for fractures and dislocations, but nearly 500 had to be treated at other facilities.  With a renewed focus on specialty care, GRMC seeks to look beyond the pandemic to offer needed care, close to home.  

            Donations are fully tax deductible.

            Write checks payable to:        GRMC Foundation – Fracture Care Equipment

                        Mail checks to:            GRMC Office of Development

                                                            210 4th Avenue

                                                            Grinnell, IA   50112

 

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