Our office will be closed for Thanksgiving Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29, 2019. We will you and your family a very happy holiday!
The application for the 2020 Spring semester Muscatine Community College scholarships is closed.
The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine awarded approximately $120,000 in grants to 27 different nonprofit organizations throughout Muscatine County during their 2019 Fall Grant Awards Ceremony.
The National Pearl Button Museum hosted the event.
“The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is grateful for the imperative services provided by the 27 nonprofit organizations funded this granting cycle, and we look forward to the impact these programs and projects make within our community,” said Jamie Leza, Program Manager, Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.
Organizations who received grants are:
NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley for Family Mental Health Access Points providing education, advocacy, and support to families to create an effective support network. Caregivers gain skills to improve coping and communication with their loved ones and healthcare providers.
Family Resources for Specialized mental health training for staff to provide increased capacity to offer Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Which is a trauma-informed, evidence-based behavioral health treatment approach.
The Area Foundation for disability requirements that meet ADA standards for restrooms. The Area Foundation has helped individuals with substance abuse problems for 43 years.
Vision 20/20 for implementation and support to develop a more efficient and effective delivery system to better leverage resources in collaboration with Muscatine Welfare Association, Senior Resources, Crossroads, and Muscatine Center for Social Action.
River Bend Foodbank for the elementary and youth backpack program to provide weekend meals to 17 of the most vulnerable youth at schools in Muscatine. The Backpack Program fills a critical need for children when school dismisses for the weekend and its feeding programs are unavailable.
Keep Muscatine Beautiful for Almost Friday Fest which brings Muscatine County a family-friendly event on the riverfront in 2020. The event offers free live music and fun games activities for all ages, along with local food vendors and a beverage tent.
Trinity Muscatine Public Health to provide mental health connections for students enrolled in Muscatine Community School District in need of mental health services but do not have the financial resources to receive the services. The grant helps cover co-pays and assessment costs.
Diversity Service Center of Iowa for their minority senior citizen program which provides social services to senior citizens age 60+, with low income and non-English speaking skills residing in Muscatine County. The purpose of DSCI is to improve the quality of life through economic development by providing education, information and social services.
Muscatine Community YMCA for their family program services which is a child abuse prevention and family strengthening program serving Muscatine County, including Wilton, West Liberty and outside city limits.
Muscatine Community YMCA for their teen center programming for 5th – 8th graders including art, science, leadership, fitness and wellness, video games, strategy gamed, community service and much more.
Flickinger Learning Center for program software Sumdog, a math-based program that engages and monitors students’ gaps and progress, Renaissance Learning Academic Reader, a reading program, and Procare, an attendance software. The Flickinger Center after school program is for academically and behaviorally at-risk children in our community.
Muscatine Art Center for National endowment for the Humanities Jacob Riis Exhibition: How the Other Half Lives along with educational programs; and Creative Adventure Lab IDEAdash for public art discussion and idea gathering to lead to the development of a public art plan.
Junior Achievement of the Heartland for core-mission programs working with young people to help them better understand financial concepts and gain confidence in their ability to manage their financial futures. They will deliver programs in 88 classrooms serving 1,838 students (grades K-5 and 8th grade).
Muscatine Symphony Orchestra for their concert project MasterWorks V: “Pasion Latina” which will celebrate the vibrant musical heritage of various Hispanic influences with works that have never been programmed by the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra in the past.
Aligned Impact Muscatine for their Course to College program that will provide five different opportunities for high schools to promote post-secondary education and build a college-going culture – early college awareness, college application campaign, FAFSA completion initiative, college decision day, and summer transitions.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois for their leadership and character-building program dedicated to helping girls develop into citizens who are responsible, caring, and engaged – and prepared for a lifetime of leadership.
Family Resources for improving the mental and behavioral health of the Muscatine Community with mental health training for staff to provide increased capacity to offer Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Which is a trauma-informed, evidence-based behavioral health treatment approach.
Vision to Learn for West Liberty Community School District vision screenings, eye exams, and if needed, eyeglasses. Funding will help provide approximately 211 eye exams and two pairs of glasses for approximately 171 students in need.
Milestones Area Agency on Aging for Muscatine County meals for low income seniors to reduce hunger and food insecurity, promote socialization, health and well-being of older adults, and delay adverse health conditions. In 2018 the Milestones Senior Nutrition Program served over 24,969 meals to Muscatine County seniors.
Quad City Arts for their 2019-2020 visiting artist series which brings accomplished and engaging artists from diverse backgrounds into our community to give educational performances to kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as community college students, and public performances.
Salvation Army Muscatine Corps for the Pathway of Hope Initiative to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through addressing to root causes of poverty by using evidence-based intervention and measuring outcomes by shifting from treating symptoms to preventing the epidemic.
United Way of Muscatine to promote and facilitate 2019-2020 day of caring and hosting several annual events. Overall, Day of Caring provides approximately 3,000 volunteers to help the community.
Citizenship Initiative Project for the West Liberty citizenship program which helps residents with the steps needed to obtain United States citizenship.
American Red Cross for disaster services for people affected by disaster, including the Home Fire Campaign, an initiative to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to home fires.
Child Abuse Council for Mississippi Valley Child Protection Center server project to improve client file security by transitioning to a system that would allow retention of digitally archived files. The Child Abuse Council leads community efforts to eliminate child abuse and neglect by strengthening children and families through treatment, education, and prevention.
Alexander Clark Foundation for the Alexander Clark House, located at 205-207 W. 3rd Street, preservation and foundation fundraising to prepare for the process of the house transitioning to an institutionalized, public access house. Alexander Clark was notable for his extensive activity in early civil rights and equality for black Americans in Iowa and the Midwest.
Fruitland Community Lion’s Club all veterans’ memorial which will honor men and women in Muscatine County for their love, dedication and sacrifice. Names will be engraved on black granite, and there will be granite benches to sit on and reflect on their participation.
Robert Young Center for Community Health to provide expedited connection and access to services needed to respond to youth in crisis, including: mental health diagnostic evaluations, psychiatric evaluations for medication, and weekly therapy groups for at risk youth and their families.
Grants were funded from six identified areas of focus:
Muscatine Health Support Granting Fund – Grants were given by the Muscatine Health Support Granting Fund in efforts to support Muscatine and its surrounding area’s healthcare systems. After 33 years and $5,000,000 in grants, the Muscatine Health Support Foundation chose to partner with the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine in 2018 to continue with its community health focus.
Muscatine County Endowment Regranting Program – The Community Foundation’s Muscatine County Endowment Regranting Program is funded through the Iowa Department of Economic Development and made available to distribute only by accredited, qualified community foundations like the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. Grant funds were awarded to high impact charitable activities.
The Hilda E. Collitz Field of Interest Funds – for agency-focused efforts around the prevention of homelessness.
The Ray Hockersmith Endowment – for the benefit of blind, vision impaired or disabled children.
The George Millet Endowment – for the betterment of those with mental disabilities.
Pat and Jim Powers Endowment – for the benefit of mental health and nonprofit organizations actively engaged in providing programs or services for those with mental health issues and/or mental illness.
“During its 20-year history, the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine has grown to a $38 million dollar foundation consistently supporting charitable work, innovative ideas, and collaborative efforts through its granting dollars,” said Charla Schafer, Executive Director. “Last year our Community Foundation granted $1.7 million dollars in charitable grants from individual and organization funds, including $450,000 through open application discretionary granting opportunities. We are inspired daily by the good work going on in our County, led by our friends and neighbors.”
To see more pictures from our granting ceremony, please click HERE.
The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine’s announced the winners of its annual Initiative Awards at its 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting dinner.
Great Initiative Award
The recipient of the 2019 Great Initiative Award is Megan Zalzala.
In the Spring of 2019, the West Liberty Parks and Recreation Board of Directors and The Friends of West Liberty Parks and Recreation decided to upgrade the playground at Kimberly Park, the oldest park in West Liberty.
They set a goal to raise $200,00 for a rubber surface and new equipment, and West Liberty Parks and Recreation Board Member Megan Zalzala took the initiative to Chair and recruit a Fundraising Committee for the Kimberly Park Playground Project.
The project was awarded over $75,000 due to numerous grant applications Megan wrote. West Liberty Foods agreed to match up to $25,000 for every dollar donated by the Community. In only six weeks West Liberty Community members donated $28,000 with Megan leading the effort. The Kimberly Park Playground Project exceeded their goal of $200,000 in only nine months with plans to install the playground equipment this coming Spring.
Megan was nominated by Nick Heath, Director of West Liberty Parks and Recreation and he described her as “hard working, determined, responsible, loyal and generous.” He also suggested it may have taken another 2-3 years to break ground without her leadership, determination and help. Megan was also recommended for the Great Initiative award by a fellow Fundraising Committee member, Emily Neeld, said Megan’s “determination and dedication does not go unnoticed to those of us who are behind the scenes to see the work she completes.”
The Great Initiative Award began in 2009 when Shirley Jean Drake, one of the Community Foundation’s long-time board members, was retiring. Shirley Jean left a legacy of great initiatives across our community, county, and state.
It is only through tirelessly working towards one’s goals and building strong relationships with others that good ideas become great initiatives. Shirley modeled the spark and drive that made people want to follow her and to buy into her initiatives. Many of those initiatives continue to inspire others to create positive change for our communities.
The Great Initiative Award is given each year to a person who served as the impetus for a great initiative, who engaged others, and championed it into something that makes our community and county great. The award winner must also exemplify the kind of personal determination, ethics, and cheerfulness that Shirley Jean Drake possessed.
Youth Initiative Award
This year two recipients were honored with the Youth Initiative Award – Vanessa Calderon and Isabelle Hartman.
February 1, 2019, was the first day girls could join Boy Scouts of America since being founded 109 years ago. Vanessa Calderon and Isabelle Hartman are two of the five founding members of Scouts BSA Troop 1127. They assumed the two highest leadership positions within the troop with Vanessa as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Isabelle as Senior Patrol Leader. At the week-long, council-wide National Youth Leadership Training they were the only two females in attendance. They applied the skills they learned within their own troop and what started as a troop of five has grown to a troop of ten girls. Isabelle and Vanessa are teaching the younger troop members scouting skills as well as leadership by example. They volunteer at local retirement homes, pick up litter for the Nature Conservancy during hikes and kayaking and helped collect perishable foods for the annual post office food drive. Vanessa and Isabelle initiated the first female Boy Scouts of America Troop in Muscatine on the first available day, volunteer within their community and mentor younger troop members all while attending school, participating in student council, orchestra, band and sports.
Dana Jones nominated Isabelle and Vanessa and described them as “brave, helpful, friendly and trustworthy leaders.” Dana wrote that when Vanessa and Isabelle are given a task or responsibility, they always complete it and exceed expectations.
Vanessa and Isabelle were told by their parents that they were attending the award ceremony to do clean up for community service. They were quite surprised to find out the actual reason they were at the awards ceremony. And were also thrilled they weren’t on clean up duty!
In the similar spirit of the Great Initiative Award, we know there are talented, generous youth in our communities doing charitable projects of their own. The Youth Initiative Award was created just for them. The award is eligible for youth age 18 and under who were the primary organizer of a charitable program or project.
Giles Joslyn received the first award for creating “Stringfest” concerts to raise money for new band instruments and music lessons for students who might not otherwise be able to afford them. The passion, persistence, enterprise and leadership he demonstrated will continue to be honored through this Youth Initiative Award.
Tom Hendricks Community Service Award
The recipient of the Tom Hendricks Community Service Award is Keep Muscatine Beautiful for Almost Friday Fest. Chris Boar and Brenda Christensen were there to accept the award.
Keep Muscatine Beautiful is a charitable organization that addresses initiatives to help make Muscatine a better place to live and work. The initiatives have ranged from a City-Wide Clean-up to the Healthy Living Fest, to this year’s newest initiative Almost Friday Fest. There were four Almost Friday Fest events this summer providing free live music entertainment, a kids and family play area, local food trucks and a beer and wine tent. These family friendly events promoted the use of our riverfront and downtown, provided an opportunity for local businesses to highlight their services and raised funds to improve the riverfront. The first event in June drew about 400 attendees and that number tripled by the next month with more than 1,200 visitors.
The initiatives addressed by Keep Muscatine Beautiful are accomplished with volunteers. Keep Muscatine Beautiful was nominated by John Axel and supported by John Krieger, Shawn Schrader and Robert Sheets. They wrote that The Almost Friday Fest meets the mission statement of Keep Muscatine Beautiful by “Engaging Muscatine County residents to take greater responsibility for improving and enhancing the community environment through beautification programs and quality of life opportunities that help make Muscatine a better place to live and work.” And it is accomplished through dedicated volunteers.
Keep Muscatine Beautiful has events planned for fall. Their next event is a dueling pianos fundraiser.
Three years ago, Tom was inducted into the Volunteer Hall of Fame by Governor Terry Branstad. Tom is involved in many charitable activities and is a founding member of Muscatine Charities. His volunteer leadership and service are well known throughout the Muscatine area. So well known that Tom also received the People’s Choice Award by recording the largest total votes of all Hall of Fame candidates. The large number of votes by area residents helped him win the People’s Choice Award and is indicative of our community’s high esteem for Tom.
As a local tribute to Tom’s charitable work, Muscatine Charities established an endowment with the Community Foundation. This endowment will provide funding for the Tom Hendricks Community Service Award annually – every year – virtually forever.
The Community Foundation of Louisa County’s granting cycle is open! Click HERE for more details.
Our 2019 Annual Report is now available . Please click HERE to view the report.
The last installment of our Social Innovations Learning Labs was Strategies for Board Engagement. You can view the video by clicking HERE.
We are happy to announce that the Fueling the Future pilot project has received funding through Iowa Future Ready.
Partnering with Trinity Muscatine Public Health, Muscatine Community College, City of Muscatine, Muscatine Center for Social Action, Aligned Impact Muscatine, and a collective of Muscatine employers. This program will provide an intensive six-week upskilling in the high-demand fields of welding and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and participants will receive welding or CNA certificates. The project will target adults in low-income families of elementary-aged children receiving weekend “backpack” food subsidies in Muscatine. Innovative wrap-around services will be provided to families participating. The six-week certificate programs being offered through Muscatine Community College will be geared toward adult learners with a focused, intentional accelerated curriculum to reduce the potential life barriers that can get in the way of student completion. Area hiring employers will participate in paid part-time internships during the six-week sessions with commitments to hire qualified individuals upon completion. Six months of follow up is also part of the program to help ensure long-term success. Twelve individuals will participate in the initial pilot.
Today, Governor Kim Reynolds announced the first 13 recipients of the new Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant designed to help employers carry out solutions to help their employees achieve postsecondary training and education. The first round of Employer Innovation Fund Grants will distribute over $400,000 in funds to employers across the state.
“The Employer Innovation Fund drives innovation in meeting the workforce challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These public-private partnerships address barriers for Iowans looking to get the training they need for a life-changing career. The collaboration happening at the grassroots level serves as a catalyst for Future Ready Iowa’s continued success.
The purpose of the grant is to provide opportunities for working Iowans to earn non-credit and for-credit postsecondary credentials leading to high-demand jobs in the state. Employers, community leaders and others can apply by submitting a proposal for implementing a creative solution to their local workforce needs. “Employers are a critical part of reaching our Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with postsecondary credentials by 2025,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “The Employer Innovation Fund is unique because it empowers employers to find creative ways to strengthen their local workforce and build upon Iowa’s talent pipeline.”
Thank you for applying for a grant! Organizations that receive a grant will be notified by email soon.