I would like to take this opportunity to update everyone on some of the decisions that were made at our last board meeting regarding our meetings, dues and charitable contributions.  We will not be meeting in May as the Governor’s restrictions are ongoing for Black Hawk County.  During the Board meeting we decided that we will extend our charitable giving grants each week through May for a total of 8-$1000 grants through the months of April and May.  This is an outstanding contribution from our Waterloo Rotary Club to organizations providing aid and assistance to those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a reminder, below is a list of the organizations that we’ve chosen to support.

Northeast Iowa Foodbank:  Our Club donated $1,000 to the Foodbank as they face challenges during this crisis.  The Foodbank is having fewer volunteers and less food.  They are serving many more families, working class individuals, seniors, and ultimately, those affected by COVID-19 directly.

Boys and Girls Club of the Cedar Valley:  Our Club donated $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club to assist them with providing mobile lunches for the lunch delivery program.  They have been providing an outlet for youth in the Cedar Valley for years.  Our Club continues to support this non-profit as they struggle to provide assistance during this crisis.

Salvation Army:  Our $1,000 grant to the Salvation Army assisted them in meeting the increased demand for their services during this crisis.  Their lunch time meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays have seen an increase in attendance and our assistance will help  them deal with the increased demand.

Peoples Community Health Clinic: Many of their clients are from Tyson Fresh Meats which has been particularly hard hit during this crisis. The Clinic is dealing with staff shortages, increased demand, communication barriers, and added stress of providing services to those most in need.  Our $1,000 grant will assist them in converting their dentistry area to provide more protection to patients and staff.

During our most recent board meeting we discussed candidates for future grants.  We have agreed to award our first two grants to the following organizations:

Allen / MercyOne Foundations:  In response to the COVID-19 crisis our District 5970 decided to award each Club a $1000 grant to provide assistance to organizations of their choice.  The Board agreed to apply for this grant as well as providing $1000 match.  The $2000 will be split between both hospital foundations to assist in providing adequate PPE to staff as they provide clinical and hospitalization services for the Cedar Valley. 

Foster Graduate Gifts:  Each year graduating foster youth are recognized in the community through an open house.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an open house will not be held this year.  To provide support and to assist the graduating youth in starting their independence our Board agreed to provide $100 gift cards to each of the 9 graduates.

In identifying grant recipients, we have counted on feedback from our survey held last month and input from Rotarians dealing with the various non-profits in the Cedar Valley.  Each grant recipient is voted on by the Board.  The Board is always looking for ways that we can assist various organizations and welcome all feedback.  We have two more awards to distribute and are looking to identify two more worthy candidates.

As a Rotarian of this Club, I couldn’t be more proud of our assistance and generosity.  This is what being a Rotarian is all about, “Service Above Self”.

I hope everyone is finding a way to enjoy the nice weather we’re having and ways to cope with being a little bit isolated and most importantly that everyone is staying healthy and safe.