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shelterworks News from the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter



had something from the past that kept them from seeing themselves beyond homelessness. They were knowledgeable about their lives from their experiences. And they had the stories to prove it by sharing them. However they soon discovered that they lacked the imagination to make changes that would be meaningful and life changing in the long run. Once they realized that to imagine how they would “All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your change their circumstances, they began to work hard at imagination and then works its way out. Imagination is more trying to take the necessary steps in preparing to leave important than knowledge.� -Albert Einstein shelter. It was exciting when the day arrived for them to sign I think Albert Einstein was on to something when the papers for their apartments. I was just as excited as they he made this statement. The last time we talked, a story were about moving out of shelter. A call for donations for was shared about a couple who had secured permanent these gentlemen and the family went out to the community. housing with their two children and found the power And the community responded with enthusiasm. within themselves to change their circumstance. And on Those days we spent imagining what that day would this occasion we meet again to talk about change and how look like for them had finally come full circle for them. We imagining that change can be as powerful as knowledge, laughed, hugs were exchanged and stories were told about more importantly self-empowering. those tough days when each of us probably waivered in During the month of March changes occurred with both imagining that better days was just around the corner. a family and four single men in shelter. The father was able Sometimes in the midst of crisis we forget to imagine to obtain employment within seven days of entering shelter what it would look like to have a job, a permanent place and four men moved into permanent housing. Within 14 to live for ourselves and our families and pay the bills days, the family was also able to leave shelter and move into without having to choose between utilities and food. It is their own apartment as well with their two children. Each understandable because at that very moment survival is the of these clients at times, dared to imagine themselves and main goal and objective. No doubt we have all experienced their circumstances as changing for the better. There were it at some point in our lives. Experience only varies by days when each felt doubtful about moving into a place that degree. Yet we need to be reminded that to imagine is to they could call their own. For one gentleman, change felt move beyond the immediate struggle and dare to imagine unattainable, for another it felt as if he had spent so much a better life where we can work, put food on the table, take time being homeless that his belief in himself started to care of ourselves and family in a place that we can come waiver and his emotions were beginning to get the best of home to at night knowing that we imagined a better life him. Another stayed occupied with attending meetings to and made it so. Our imagination counts when it comes to address his substance abuse and surrounded himself with living and making lasting changes. - Martha a safety net prior to leaving shelter. Each of these men


Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Board of Directors Janet Slimak, President David Fisher, Vice President Bobette Ash, Secretary

James Locke, Treasurer Eric Jacobs Theresa Ann Trimble Tim Wilson, Executive Director Gabe Erickson Rebecca Jacobs Jason Vestweber Kay Henry Sam Jones Robin Wagner

Dady Doings 2nd Annual Run For Shelter 5K event,

Saturday, August 24 Look for more information on our website.

Event sponsors as of May 2013: Platinum: Mercy Medical St. Luke’s Hospital International Paper 2KGAN/Fox28 Lamar Advertising


Alliant Energy Casey’s General Stores General Mills TransAmerica Foundation Shulttleworth & Ingersoll, PLC

Like many non-profit organizations, Willis Dady is very reliant on volunteer help. We utilize volunteers for everything from preparing Sunday meals to painting to overnight staffing. Sometimes we have a need for a specific skill set and seek volunteers to apply these, either for a one-time project or an ongoing periodic task like editing our newsletter. Our board members are volunteers. Of course, the clients help out while they are here as well. They are assigned daily chores and sometimes are asked to help out with other occasional or seasonal tasks, like shoveling snow or picking up trash. We’d like to find more ways for our clients to volunteer in the community. While most are able to find work and many arrive already working or with a job starting soon, others are working only part-time or through temporary agencies, which means they are not working consistent hours each day and often have more time. Although earning income is a primary goal for our clients, volunteer work can help develop new skills as well as references for paid employment. If you have volunteer needs, please contact us.

Silver: Van Meter Industrial Cedar Ridge Winery Riccolo, Semelroth & Henningsen, PC

While Willis Dady utilizes overnight volunteers year round, the majority of nights are covered by students from our great partners Coe and Cornell Colleges. From early May through the beginning of September, we must find other volunteers. Volunteering is pretty straightforward; we have an application (available on our website, Volunteers come in at 10:00pm and are de-briefed by the staff member who has been on duty that evening. A staff member comes in at 6:00 the following morning, after which the volunteers are free to go. The coverage is during the shelter’s “lights out” and quiet time; clients are resting for the next day. Most volunteers choose to sleep in the overnight room, which is equipped with a television and beds. On some nights, someone may call or ring the doorbell during the night but rarely is there more excitement than that. We have had families volunteer as well as teams of friends. We have two beds but can bring in additional inflatable mattresses if someone wants to take a “the more, the merrier” approach. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, though a child with at least one parent is welcome. If you can help out with volunteering overnight, please contact us to learn more. Also share our need with others who might be able to help. We rely on this service to help balance our budget, allowing staff to have more hours during the daytime when they can be more useful to clients. Thanks in advance if you can help and enjoy your summer! -- Tim Wilson

Give to wdeS

How Can I Help? Overnight Volunteer

We have a hard time finding volunteers to staff overnight during the summer. If you can help, please contact Paul at 319-362-7555 or

Financial Support

Help Now To contribute to shelter operations and services:

Online 1. Go to 2. Click on “How to Help” 3. Click on the box near the bottom labeled “Donate Now through Network for Good” 4. Enter your donation and credit card number U.S. Mail 1. Return the envelope included in this mailing with your contribution

Invest In Our Future To help ensure that shelter and services continue into the future, make a donation to our Prairie Fund Endowment at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Online 1. Go to 2. Move cursor to “Donors” option near top of page 3. Click on “Giving Options” 4. Click on “Search Giving Options” 5. Scroll down to “Willis Dady Emergency Shelter” on alphabetical list and click on “Action” at far right Phone 1. 319 366-2862

Our Sunday Table Program

Willis Dady is looking for groups to prepare a Sunday lunch for approximately 30 people and bring it to the shelter; we provide tableware and the mouths to feed. Clients and staff enjoy the meal and conversation. All help clean up. A few 2013 dates are still available, including June 9 and 30, July 28 and August 25.

WDES is proud to be a Partner Agency of the United Way of East Central Iowa

Volunteer at Willis Dady

Willis Dady is always in need of volunteers for all kinds of tasks. Please contact Paul for details at 319-362-7555, or email

Donate Items to Stuff, Etc.

WDES has made arrangements with Stuff, Etc. to accept items on behalf of the shelter. Proceeds from sold items will be applied to our account. When dropping off at Stuff, Etc., 252 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE C.R. Please use account number 13519.


Special thanks to some of Those who have recently given Donations or awarded Grants Adcraft Printing All Saints Church Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation - Steve and Joanne Carfrae Fund Farmers State Bank First Lutheran Church of Cedar Rapids Immaculate Conception Church Iowa Finance Authority - Shelter Assistance Fund John F. Harrington, III, a long-time Cedar Rapids resident and friend of Willis Dady, died on February 17 of this year. We learned recently that Mr. Harrington included Willis Dady in his will. Alas, Mr. Harrington was just 53 years old when he passed. However, by including an agency like Willis Dady that has an endowment in his will, his legacy will impact the future for years to come. We are so grateful to have friends like Mr. Harrington.

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, Inc. 1247 4th Ave SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 49 Cedar Rapids, IA


Board Members Meet Our Board Members!

Charisma Wickham

Charisma Wickham is one of the newest board members at Willis Dady. Charisma has worked at Alliant Energy for 16 years and currently works in the Human Resources department. Charisma saw Willis Dady as a good fit to continue helping those in the community and with her past volunteer experience focused mainly on youth, the services provided by Willis Dady have a direct impact on our youth and tomorrow’s future. “I saw this as a good way to have a positive impact on the community and help raise awareness that homelessness IS an issue in Cedar Rapids that impacts all ages.” Charisma has been involved with the United Way campaign at Alliant for several years, and created the Alliant Energy Young Leaders Society in 2008 to engage donors age 40 and younger to give back to their community. Charisma is also actively involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa. Charisma lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Brian, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and human resources from Mount Mercy University.

Willis Dady E-Newsletter Summer 2013  

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter E-Newsletter Summer 2013

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