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CoSI “Welcome to the Heartland” Campaign Continuing to Offer Hope

Leaders of Grinnell’s Community Support for Immigrants (CoSI) organization are reporting ongoing success with the “Welcome to the Heartland” campaign to benefit Afghan refugees in the greater Des Moines area.  On April 1, John Ashby, Co-Chair of the CoSI Steering Committee, hand delivered a check for $ 12,000 to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) in Des Moines area.  

Laura Thako, Development Associate for USCRI stated “A donation of this size is actually a significant portion of our unrestricted funds for the year.”  Laura went on to explain that much of their funding comes from grants with very specific uses that restrict spending.  Gifts such as the one offered through CoSI allow USCRI to further help refugees by using the donation for emergencies and other emerging situations that the grants may not fund.  

More donations continue to be received by CoSI.  Soon, another $ 5,000 will be delivered, with additional gifts being received weekly.  In addition to the money, one Grinnellian made 21 beautiful crocheted hats, booties, sweaters and quilts for babies and toddlers.  These were also delivered to the USCRI office.

Heartfelt thanks is extended to the community for its continued generosity.  There are three ways Grinnellians can continue to help:

            First, money is still greatly needed and appreciated.  Check can be made payable to “First Presbyterian Church”, with “CoSI” in the memo line.  Mail or drop off checks at First Presbyterian, 1025 5th Ave., Grinnell, IA  50112.

            Second, people can donate online purchases directly to several Des Moines resettlement agencies:  USCRI, Catholic Charities, and Lutheran Services.  These agencies have up-to-date online wish-lists which allow donors to purchase urgently needed household items from online vendors and send them directly to the agency of choice.  Visit for links to the wish lists and instructions for making online purchases.  

            Third, CoSI will host a physical goods donation drive where donors can drop off specific new and gently used items that the families need to set up a new household.  The date and time for this drive will be announced in the near future.  CoSI will deliver the donated items to the resettlement agencies in Des Moines.  

Again, CoSI volunteers are very grateful to the members of the greater Grinnell community for the outpouring of support for the “Welcome to the Heartland” campaign.  

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