Waterloo – We have all seen many acts of heroism, strength and compassion during this COVID time, but none more prominent than the actions of our community’s first responders.  Our health care workers, emergency personnel, and many front line workers commit to long, exhaustive hours to keep this community safe and to save lives. 

In recognition of their commitment to our safety, the Waterloo Community Foundation established the First Responders Fund by offering a match challenge of $5,000 in May.  Working together as a community, an additional $22,000 has been raised and equally divided among first responders at Peoples Community Health Clinic, UnityPoint, MercyOne, Waterloo Police and Waterloo Fire Rescue.

“We knew that our community is caring and supportive, but we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support expressed by so many community members.  Every gift is being accepted with gratitude, says Waterloo Foundation Board Chair Wilfred Johnson.  We couldn’t be more thankful to our first responders and to our donors.” In accepting the gift, Joe Surma, MercyOne Waterloo Foundation Manager said, “We are sincerely grateful to the Waterloo Community Foundation and all those who donated to their ‘First Responder Fund’ for this gift.  It will help not only our colleagues working on the front line, it will benefit our patients looking to us for help during this pandemic. Thank you for wanting to make a difference in the health care community.”

The first round of checks are being presented to each of the five benefitting organizations the week of June 22, with an additional distribution planned for mid-July.  General donations will be accepted through the end June by making a donation directly to the fund or by purchasing a t-shirt or signed First Responder water color print, designed by Waterloo artist Michael Broshar.  Visit Foundation’s website for more information:  https://www.wloocommunityfoundation.org/.