The Waterloo Community Foundation (WCF) has awarded grants to local non-profits in Waterloo through a competitive grant process.  Each award aligns with the Foundation’s mission to contribute resources for the betterment of the greater Waterloo, Iowa community and its citizens.  Fall 2018 recipients include:

Eye of the Needle – Serving over 3,000 men, woman and children in 2017, this organization tends to multiple needs by providing clothing, work attire, bus tickets, household items and gas cards to those challenged by poverty or disaster.  With a goal of achieving self-sufficiency, the Eye of the Needle has moved to a larger space at 2327 Falls Avenue, Suite 5 & 6, in Waterloo.  Donations of time, gently-used items or cash are always accepted.

Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity – Decent and affordable housing are well documented needs in Waterloo.  This project will focus on the Walnut Neighborhood and the old Irving School site by helping to rehabilitate existing homes and providing critical home repairs.  Over 2,000 volunteers, dedicating 24, 000 hours supported Habitat’s work in 2017.  Together, neighborhood stability and safe, decent and affordable homes result.

Hawkeye Community College – If left unchecked, mental health problems cause a myriad of academic, social, legal, and safety issues for individuals and families across our community.  Hawkeye Community College, in collaboration with the Cedar Valley United Way and others will host the 2019 Cedar Valley Mental Health Summit.  Designed to equip service delivery professionals with tools and best practices to support Waterloo’s mental health challenges, the Summit includes a cultural perspective theme, focusing on racially and ethnically diverse populations’ mental health.

Black Hawk County Sheriff – Those with autism, Alzheimer’s or related mental or physical disorders pose particular communication problems to law enforcement, especially when they become lost or disoriented.  LOST (Loved Ones Safe Together) is a newly created safety initiative that encourages families to voluntarily create a profile that is confidentially held at the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office.  Law enforcement teams will be trained to better communicate with these vulnerable individuals and to use electronic tracking equipment.

Grants Committee Chair Joe Vich stated, “we received 42 grant applications representing a wide range of projects in the areas of education, health and  human services, economic development and arts and culture.  Each communicated significant community need and were compelling.  It tells us that we have lots of work to do and that we are on the right tract in establishing a foundation that focuses solely on Waterloo and vicinity.”

In making this award, the Waterloo Community Foundation joins more than 795 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week, November 12 – 18.  For 29 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.  In keeping with founding documents, the Waterloo Community Foundation stewards philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities.

Since the Foundation incorporated in 2015, over $60,000 has been invested in philanthropic work in the community.  The Foundation solicits competitive proposals in September of each year.

A formal awards ceremony will be held at a later date.  To learn more about its grants program or to invest in projects that make a difference in Waterloo, call Michelle Temeyer, Executive Director (319) 883-6022 or visit www.wloocommunityfoundation.org