community SPRING 2018
Rosemary Earl Leads Hiawatha Public Library Addition Build Rosemary Earl joined the Hiawatha Public Library as a librarian when it was little more than a small, narrow space in the Hiawatha City Hall building. Her career as a librarian spanned from the 70s until 2003, and libraries have changed in a myriad of ways throughout her tenure. Still, the core mission of libraries has remained the same, and it is one that Rosemary has always recognized as fundamental – to connect community members with information and knowledge. As a career-long librarian, Rosemary has always recognized the importance of the Hiawatha Public Library to the community. She developed programming where she could and worked tirelessly to obtain the land and funds to build a standalone facility in the 90s. “We formed a building committee of community leaders, and I convinced the gentleman who owned this property to donate the land,” Rosemary explains. “It wasn’t easy. At the time, his daughter owned the Dairy Queen. I told him it would be financially good for them to have the library next door.” 2 COMMUNITY
The Hiawatha Public Library raised over one million dollars to construct the building on the donated land, which is how the current facility came to be. Since opening in 1998, circulation of materials has drastically increased, with about three-fourths of the circulation involving people who live outside Hiawatha.
“It makes me feel very proud to be part of this. I’ll be anxious to see the new building.” — Rosemary Earl In fact, the library is the home library for many neighborhoods in northeast Cedar Rapids.
The library’s programming also serves more people than just the residents of Hiawatha. Summer reading and afterschool programs have proven essential, and the Hiawatha Public Library has earned a reputation as the “small and friendly” library, attracting visitors from throughout the community. “Hiawatha residents certainly use our library, but most of the people coming here are not from Hiawatha,” says Jeaneal Weeks, the library’s current Director. “They choose to come here for a variety of reasons. The state has cut workforce development, and some of that work has fallen to libraries. We just helped a guy find a job that he got yesterday, so we’re very excited about that.” People also use the library for study or meeting space, personal betterment activities and learning, as well as to gain access to popular materials. The Hiawatha Public Library estimates it provides a value to the community of about $4.4 million. “Most libraries serve as a community center,” says Rosemary. “You need a place to research and, you would be surprised, but a lot of people don’t have computers or access to the internet, and in the early days they didn’t always know how to use them.” Jeaneal Weeks agrees. “The library’s role is not just books, it’s also computers and teaching and making knowledge available for everyone,” she says. “A lot of former students come back after graduating from college and tell us how much we helped them.”
Today, the Hiawatha Public Library is an essential component of the Metro Library Network. To continue to meet the needs of the community, they have undertaken another expansion project. The new project is an addition to the library’s current space. City government and voters have supported the project with a $1.2 million bond and $1 million in localoption sales tax funds, and a fundraising effort is currently underway to meet their $4.1 million goal. They hope to break ground on the new development at their current location in September. As honorary chair of the new fundraising project, Rosemary opened the Hiawatha Public Library Earl Family Fund in 2017 at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “I established the fund,” she explains, “because, if you’re going to go out and ask for donations you should have some of your own money in it yourself.” She hopes she can encourage others to give to help the building project. “This library has grown and grown and grown, and I think it is a big asset to the community,” she says. For Rosemary, who turns 80 in April, the expansion of the Hiawatha Public Library will fulfill a lifelong vision. “It makes me feel very proud to be part of this,” she says. “I’ll be anxious to see the new building.”
To learn more about the Hiawatha Public Library expansion, visit www.hiawathapubliclibrary.org/make-room-for-imagination.
ENDOW IOWA TAX CREDIT UPDATE
On Febraury 16, 2018, the Iowa Department of Economic Development announced the 2018 Endow Iowa tax credit pool of $6 million was expended. Endow Iowa tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. New Endow Iowa tax credit applications will be placed into the IEDA queue for the next available credits in 2019. SPRING 2018 3
We are able to provide services to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind community in a way that other agencies are not because they can communicate with us directly, without needing an interpreter. Thereâ€™s no barrier for us in getting them the support they need. â€“ Jennifer Upah-Kyes Executive Director 4 COMMUNITY
Deaf Iowans Against Abuse is a state-wide organization based in Linn County.They provide immediate crisis advocacy and support to Deaf, Deaf-Blind or Hard of Hearing persons, including individuals with hearing loss who are victims or survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, stalking, bullying, suicide or substance abuse.The organization received a Program Fund grant to support their local efforts to prevent suicide and substance abuse in the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind community.These efforts include the Crisis Hotline Video Phone, which ensures an advocate is available 24/7, as well as two separate support groups.
A couple of my roommates do the FAFSA for themselves, and it’s a huge stressor for them, but I know that ICAN is there to help me with it. Iowa College Access Network received a Program Fund grant and a Linn County Fund grant to support programming in Linn County. Iowa College Access Network works throughout the state to aid students and families in planning for college and finding financial aid.
– Morgan Vana, ICAN client
“I learned about ICAN when my daughter Morgan began thinking about her college plans,” Lori Vana explains. “They were able to walk us through the process of applications, FAFSA and making hard budgeting decisions.”
Our ultimate hope is that we can have a collective impact on the most vulnerable individuals in our community by providing seamless access to resources and helping to alleviate some of the burden the individual users of those services face right now. – Cynthia Fiester Chronic Disease Services Program Coordinator, Linn County Public Health
A Program Fund grant supported Linn County Public Health’s community-wide care coordination effort by aiding in the purchase of a technology system that allows more than 30 partner organizations to utilize secure HIPPA/HITECH compliant data sharing among social service care providers. This project, supported by an integrated software approach, is an effort to reduce duplication of efforts, increase referral transparency, collect important internal and cross-organizational data, and reduce the time it takes staff to conduct and follow up with referrals. SPRING 2018 5
Endowment Challenge Fund Matches Gifts to Local Nonprofits The Endowment Challenge Fund is a matching grant supporting nonprofit organizations in building endowments in our community. Nonprofit endowment funds create sustainable funding for organizations. “These funds can help nonprofits by providing general operating support, stability during cyclical income variances, and income for areas of high importance to the organization,” says Rochelle Naylor, Program Officer at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. The Endowment Challenge Fund grant was implemented at the Community Foundation in 2012. It offers $25,000 in funding and five years for nonprofits to meet the match.
To date, eight area nonprofit organizations have completed Endowment Challenge Fund grants through the Community Foundation including: Discovery Living, Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services, Kids First Law Center, The Arc of East Central Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Brucemore, Indian Creek Nature Center, Willis Dady Emergency Center and United Way of East Central Iowa. Five organizations currently have active Endowment Challenge Fund grants. The Community Foundation matches contributions made to their endowment funds. They Include:
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Iowa Legal Aid
The History Center
For information about how to give to, or apply for, an Endowment Challenge Fund, visit www.gcrcf.org. 6 COMMUNITY
New Board Members
2017 Year In Review The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is proud to help donors and nonprofit organizations improve the quality of life in Linn County. Together, we are creating a vibrant community. Here is a summary of 2017:
Total Grants and Scholarships Awarded JASMINE ALMOAYED Economic Development Manager City of Cedar Rapids
Total Number of Nonprofits Funded
Total Number of Scholarships Funded
Number of Gifts
Number of New Funds MOLLY ALTORFER Partner Common Sense Advertising
Total Number of Funds Grant Requests from the funds for the Community
2.7 Million - $1.4 Million
TAX REFORM IMPLICATIONS FOR NONPROFITS JIM CHOATE Vice President, CFO/COO Kirkwood Community College
MIKE SHEELEY Vice President & COO United Life Insurance Company
Nonprofits are working to understand the effects of the recently passed federal tax law. On February 15, 2018 the Nonprofit Network hosted a learning opportunity presented by Clifton Larson Allen with over 50 nonprofit representatives. SPRING 2018 7
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WILLIAM QUARTON HERITAGE SOCIETY LUNCHEON Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 11:30 a.m. â€“ 1 p.m. Cedar Rapids Country Club Save the date! Invitations will be mailed in May.
JUNE GRANT DEADLINE Friday, June 15, 2018, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit www.gcrcf.org/grants for more information.
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