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Iowa West Awards $10,000 to each Volunteer Fire Department that Responded to Tornadoes in Southwest Iowa

May 16, 2024

A total of $114,000 is being awarded to 12 volunteer fire departments in southwest Iowa

(Council Bluffs, IA) – Volunteers for local southwest Iowa fire departments went above and beyond in the aftermath of recent tornadoes that damaged homes and businesses in Pottawattamie County.  According to Jacob Nelson with the Minden Volunteer Fire Department, his colleagues immediately sprang into action checking on residents and their homes, ensuring safety, assisting with gas shut offs, and clearing streets among other duties. Several first responders did so even though their own homes were directly affected, according to Jacob Nelson with the Minden Fire Department.

“Our first responders -in the following hours, days, and weeks – put their lives on hold, taking time from work to assist in the daunting task of cleanup efforts and ensure our residents felt cared for,” he said. “We are so proud to call this our hometown.”

To recognize and support these efforts, the Iowa West Foundation board of directors approved a $10,000 grant to each volunteer fire department that aided in the disaster response, and an additional $4,000 grant to the Shelby County Fire Department. In addition to Minden, 10 other southwest Iowa departments responded including Avoca, Carson, Crescent, Lewis Township, McClelland, Neola, Oakland, Treynor, Underwood, and Walnut.

“The Minden Fire Department is beyond grateful to all those who came from all over the county, state, and country to assist in clean-up efforts,” Nelson said. “The outpouring of support for our community is something magical and brings tears to our eyes. There are so many people, businesses, and entire communities to thank.”

Iowa West Foundation’s contribution to local fire department’s is in addition to its commitment of $50,000 to match donations to the Community Foundation for Western Iowa’s Southwest Iowa Disaster Relief fund.

“We’re fully committed to bolstering the immediate relief efforts in the affected regions and aiding those who have been impacted. Our dedication extends beyond the immediate crisis, as we remain steadfast in our commitment to stand by these communities and their residents throughout the rebuilding process,” said Brenda Mainwaring, President, and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “It’s inspiring to witness the outpouring of support from individuals rallying to assist their neighbors, and the Iowa West Foundation is privileged to play a role in supporting these commendable endeavors.”

Nicole Lindquist

Written by Nicole Lindquist, Director of Communications

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289

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