Waterloo Youth City Council
As one of only five cities in Iowa that invites youth voice to city hall, students in Waterloo’s 4 high schools explore, communicate, and provide for the needs, problems, issues and activities affecting Waterloo’s youth today. Youth are selected by their peers and become civically engaged in their community’s local affairs. Civic-mindedness, collaboration, and solution-driven approaches are embraced ($5,000).
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony
A tradition in the Cedar Valley since 1929, the Symphony is set to perform at the RiverLoop Amphitheatre on July 4, 2020. This free outdoor concert coincides with the Mayor’s Fireworks display and introduces the group’s work to new and diverse audiences. Youth will be inspired when the winner of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony’s Youth Artist Concerto Competition is introduced at the celebration. Come and enjoy the sounds of Sousa marches, show tunes, light classical pieces and the 1812 Overture, complete with cannons ($5,000).
Young women representing diverse cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses are learning life and leadership skills through meaningful employment at Try Pie. Just a few years ago, the mentored group was operating out of a church basement. Now, their downtown Waterloo storefront will be supplemented with a food truck giving access to larger markets for sales. This expansion deepens leadership and entrepreneurial experiences for students, while serving a new customer base in Waterloo ($5,000).
EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center)
Refugee women are often marginalized, due to lack of education and vocational training. EMBARC, working through the Community Producers Garden, will utilize communal garden space to grow, sell and eat their own culturally specific produce. Ten youth will work alongside these women, learning business skills, marketing and agricultural production practices. This multi-year economic development initiative is empowering, embraces community collaboration and promotes self-sufficiency ($5,000).
Eye of the Needle
Assists those struggling to meet basic needs such as clothing, transportation and household essentials. Serves and connects economically or mentally challenged, the elderly, families, incarcerated, immigrants or anyone needing access to a community resource through its motto: “Mobility, Mobility, Increases My Abilities” ($15,000).
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 ($5,000).
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 ($5,000).
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 ($5,000).
Silos and Smokestacks
Promotes value of agri-tourism and its positive impact on the local economy. Promotion efforts will include a kiosk at the Waterloo Regional Airport, updates to mobile site and production of short videos that promote local historic sites in Waterloo ($5,000).
Youth Art Team
Encourages youth to develop their creative potential, empowering both personal and social change through art. Youth-led art projects result in youth seeing themselves as leaders and agents of change in their community ($5,000).
Together for Youth
Prevents teen pregnancies and strengthens young families by partnering with the Waterloo Schools in presenting an evidenced-based sexual health education program to all middle school students and 10th graders ($5,000).
Northeast Iowa Food Bank
Allows purchase of food products from local producers for the Cedar Valley Food Pantry ($3,500).
Purchases winter wear for low-income elementary-age students ($2,500).
Provides adults with disabilities an opportunity to showcase their talents in a performance of “Pinocchio” at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center ($5,000).
Black Hawk Children’s Theatre
Exposes elementary-age students to live performances by offering daytime performances for $1 per child ($5,000).
Quota International of Waterloo
Promotes literacy through the purchase of books distributed to youth by Waterloo Police officers ($5,000).