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Providing for Families

By April Morris

The summer is near and area nonprofit organizations are getting ready! The Corridor is full of nonprofit organizations that work together to help families throughout the summer months by providing family-friendly activities and free meals. This helps shoulder the need parents have in providing for their family. HD Youth - Summer Meal Programs

The Henry Davison Youth Center has partnered with the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood association, Horizons Meals on Wheels, and a number of other businesses to provide lunch and activities to students all summer long. Starting from the day after school is out to the end of the summer just before school starts again. How Cool!! This program is free and is open to all children, ages 0-18. Lunch is provided Monday through Friday from 11:30-1:30 and enrollment is not required. Enrollment for after-lunch activities is required and limited to 50 children.

There are many other great programs that are offered including: After school programs, Backpack and School Supply Distribution, Star achiever activities, and five spectacular different annual events. To find out more about these programs, visit

A little background. In 1977, Mr. Henry Davison founded The Henry Davison Youth Center. Working parents in Cedar Rapids’ core neighborhoods needed a safe place for their children, and also needed academic and social support. For years, The Henry Davison Youth Center has provided those types of supports, and more, free of charge to all who have needed them.

In 2008, the Youth Center was destroyed in the flood. Mr. Davison, his board, and countless volunteers from the community worked to rebuild The Henry Davison Youth Center in its new location on Mount Vernon Road SE. Thanks to the overwhelming support given by so many, the Youth Center continues to provide a safe, structured and supervised after school and evening meal program for at-risk youth in Cedar Rapids.

Jane Boyd Youth Programs Jane Boyd’s mission is to enhance the academic, emotional and social well-being of children and families in our diverse community with programs focused on developing successful and productive adults.

One of the great programs offered is the Iowa Youth Writing Program (IYWP). It is a program started by graduates of the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop graduates of 2010. The writer’s workshop connects with kids in the community to educate, empower, and inspire them through language arts and creative thinking.

This program is available at little to no cost thanks to the time, energy, and creativity of the IYWP volunteers, partnerships with local organizations and the generosity of community members. It is a very interesting and unique opportunity for Achievement Academy kids to learn about writing and publishing their creations.

Strong kids come from strong families and support systems. One of the great reasons to check out all Jane Boyd has to offer, with a number of programs for kids and adults to build skills and shape futures! Programs include: Achievements Academy, PATHS, Family Support Workers, and the Harambee House. Learn more at

Families Helping Families - Silent Auction Fund-raiser Great things to come! Be sure to make plans to attend the Families Helping Families Silent Auction, Wine and Beer Tasting. Families Helping Families of Iowa is proud to offer support programs to help families and children in foster care throughout the state of Iowa. Your attendance will help them continue to fulfill their mission of “Caring For Iowa’s Children in Foster Care.”

Did you know there are nearly 4,500 children in Iowa’s foster care system? With so many needs, any support helps these families, caregivers, and children. Their main mission is to meet the needs of youth who have been abused or neglected, and to allow them to have the same chance as their peers to be healthy and productive citizens.

This event will feature free admission, free wine and beer tasting, great door prizes, fun raffles, and over 200 fantastic silent auction items from a stunning amount of local businesses. Come join in on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at Newbo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids.

Day of Caring 25th Anniversary Day of Caring is one of the largest organized volunteer events in Cedar Rapids where local businesses volunteer at nonprofit agencies and schools throughout the community. Volunteer teams receive t-shirts and tackle absolutely meaningful projects. “Each May, we hold our Day of Caring event as a way to engage companies and their employees with local nonprofits as groups of employees work to make a difference for your organization, staff, and clients.”

Last year in 2017, 1,268 employees from 51 local companies spent their work day giving back to the community. Volunteers tackled 103 projects at 39 nonprofit organizations including gardening, assembling hygiene kits, downtown beautification, prepping summer reading activities, and many more. In total, volunteers gave more than 6,550 hours of their time — worth a staggering $158,141!

All in all this is the perfect opportunity to tackle your nonprofit’s long list of projects you need help completing, spread awareness about our community’s needs, and extend your reach to those who could serve as future volunteers and advocates. Save the date; Thursday, May 10, 2018 and come join in! This year we will be celebrating 25 years of Day of Caring! Located at United Way of East Central Iowa.

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