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Since its inception, the Iowa West Foundation's grant program has awarded more than $300 million to improve the quality of life in our region. These stories highlight some of these grants and show the impact they make on our community.

Recent Featured Grants

Grants at Work

Since its inception, the Iowa West Foundation's grant program has awarded more than $400 million to improve the quality of life in our region. The following Grants at Work stories highlight some of these grants and show the impact they make on our community.
 

October 11, 2017

The Foundation awarded a substantial $85,000 toward the project and encouraged the applicants to invite the community to support the effort as well.

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February 21, 2017

Funded by the Iowa West Foundation, the children's mental health initiative, in partnership with Lewis Central School District and Heartland Family Service, offers therapeutic services for K-12 students; teacher training to help identify mental and behavioral health issues; a case worker to work with families to remove barriers for children and families; and universal assessment of middle school students to identify issues more quickly. This is one boy's story.

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October 27, 2016

Thankfully, the former teacher is one of more than 200 recipients of Connections Area Agency on Aging, “Meals on Wheels” program. Earlier this year, the Iowa West Foundation awarded a $70,000 grants to ensure homebound seniors in Pottawattamie County could continue or begin to receive “Meals on Wheels.”

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March 31, 2016

Earlier this year, I got to experience a “Grant at Work” first-hand when I chaperoned my daughter’s field trip to the Omaha Children’s Museum. The museum recently received a $40,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to provide field trips and reduced rate memberships to more than 600 Pottawattamie County families who qualify.

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November 03, 2015

Infants like 7-month-old Logan Fowble are literally breathing new life into a building that previously served as the residential care wing of the Friendship Home nursing care facility in Audubon, Iowa. How old met new is an interesting story in this town of 2,000 people.

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September 01, 2015

Five-year-old Samantha and her mom don’t get to spend much time together. So you can imagine how when the single mother talks about the time she treated her only daughter to a night at the ballet, it brings tears to her eyes. Almost instantly.

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August 19, 2015

After changing locations from a secluded space on the banks of the Missouri River to its current location on 35th Street, Westwood Park has become a place to picnic in the summer. The new, eye-catching signage calls attention to all that Westwood Park has to offer.

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July 17, 2015

The new signage is a series of separate panels that spell out "COCHRAN.” Additionally, the aluminum panels fold out at their bases to become benches for sitting and conversing.

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June 23, 2015

Tenisha Vawser was 23-years-old when she got passed over for a management job at a toy store. She had experience, took pride in her work and always went above and beyond for customers, her supervisors said. But corporate informed them there was one thing missing on her resume: a college degree.

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March 27, 2015

In the early 20th century, this spring-fed lake became a popular tourist attraction due to the belief that the springs contained medicinal qualities. People would travel there on Sundays to bathe in the water. Nowadays, residents are still flocking to Big Lake Park, but because of the quality fishing, serene bird watching and gorgeous lake views.

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March 19, 2015

“A town can get older and die or it can get better and thrive.” – Pete Sorensen, City Councilman, Neola

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March 11, 2015

Vision. Courage. Will. These are the attributes the Christian Home Association–Children’s Square U.S.A. seeks to instill in children and families who call its campus home.

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December 05, 2014

In the past 12 years, membership at The Center in Council Bluffs has nearly quadrupled, going from 470 in 2002 to 1,800 today. Unfortunately, while the patron growth has continued to increase, the size of the locker rooms has stayed the same. That will all change in 2015, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation for renovations, equipment and refurbishing.

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November 04, 2014

“Queremos que los padres se conviertan en el primer y mejor maestro de sus hijos" La meta de FAMILY Inc. es proporcionar a más familias marginadas los recursos que necesitan para que sus hijos estén sanos, seguros y listos para la escuela. Más aún, FAMILYInc. reconoce el poder de los padres durante el desarrollo del menor en sus primeras etapas. Y también reconoce que existen obstáculos.

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November 04, 2014

“We want parents to become their child’s first and best teacher.” The goal of FAMILY Inc. is to provide underserved families with the resources they need for their children to be healthy, safe and ready for school. With about 2,000 days between birth and Kindergarten, FAMILY Inc. realizes the power of parents in early child development. They also realize the obstacles.

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September 30, 2014

Inside Council Bluffs’ Union Pacific Museum sits an antique silver set protected by glass. It’s an item you might breeze by on your way through the room, until Beth Maynes tells you this was Abraham Lincoln’s set from his Presidential rail car. As the education coordinator for the museum, a position partially funded by the Iowa West Foundation, Maynes brings the Lincoln Collection and Union Pacific history to life.

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August 28, 2014

While it may seem unfathomable that some children don’t get enough to eat at home, it happens here in the Heartland every day. One in 5 kids don’t always know where his or her next meal will come from. With the support of a $15,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation to the Food Bank of the Heartland, there are a lot fewer children in southwest Iowa wanting for food on weekends.

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August 12, 2014

This secluded park located just east of the corner of Clark and 5th Avenue was once the home for the athletic field of Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs’ first high school. Named after the principal in the 1930s and 1940s, A.W. Kirn, the hilltop land overlooks the Missouri River Valley and the west side of the city.

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August 04, 2014

MICAH House is an emergency family shelter, located on the Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus in Council Bluffs. Serving all of southwest Iowa for more than two decades, MICAH House has been a haven for families and individuals who are experiencing the crisis of homelessness. It provides the resources and support necessary to assist in their efforts to regain permanent housing and employment, as well as address barriers to stability.

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July 24, 2014

The land on which Roberts Park sits today was gifted to the city of Council Bluffs by the founder and owner of Robert’s Dairy, J. Gordon Roberts in 1955. Less than a mile from the Missouri River on the city’s northwest side, it’s the city park everyone is always talking about.

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May 23, 2014

Loessfest is an annual celebration of our landscape and our community. Loessfest 2014 follows a successful 2013 inaugural year, when an estimated 30,000 individuals attended the events, including the grand opening Beach Boys concert.

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May 15, 2014

A $35,000 grant was awarded this quarter to Council Bluffs El Centro Latino as an Iowa West initiative for capacity building of the organization.

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February 19, 2014

The College Access Program (CAP) was established in 2009 with an initial $4.4 million commitment from the Iowa West Foundation. In 2103, the first group of students to complete the program graduated, with 100 percent of students moving on to further their education.

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November 26, 2013

Historic preservation is more than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites of historic importance. Preservation enriches the community by maintaining tangible connections to our past, as well as promoting economic development through tourism and providing a multitude of educational opportunities.

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October 31, 2013

One in 14 children in Iowa suffers from lead poisoning; this is four times the national average. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead and treating children who have been poisoned by lead.

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August 07, 2013

City parks are gathering places for families, neighbors and visitors. Local and national studies on parks have shown that they can improve physical and psychological health, revitalize communities, and make cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work.

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June 10, 2013

The Iowa West Foundation has awarded grants to organizations in our community to improve quality of life and standard of living for thousands of area residents. We want to know how you think we have been doing. Have we achieved a balanced approach in grantmaking? Are we helping meet important needs? Or are we missing the mark?

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April 29, 2013

We know the future of any community rests in part on the promise and potential of its youth.

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April 03, 2013

The Iowa West Foundation, in partnership with the City of Council Bluffs, kicked off the summer season with Loessfest: three weeks of exciting concerts and community events at the new River’s Edge Park.

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January 17, 2013

In 2007, a Transfer of Wealth Study funded by Iowa West Foundation explored 
the availability of charitable donations in the Pottawattamie County area.

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October 19, 2012

Serving Council Bluffs since 1993, Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that relies on help from volunteers in the community to build homes and improve neighborhoods.

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July 13, 2012

Education has the power to change lives. It drives the development and growth of a region. The Iowa West Foundation is dedicated to improving education and access to lifelong learning for youth and adults alike. 

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OUR VISION is a community where families choose to
live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its
quality of life and standard of living.

Iowa West Foundation    |    25 Main Place, Suite 550    |    Council Bluffs, Iowa    |    712-309-3000