2023 community impact grants

Community Impact Grants are available to organizations whose innovative and meaningful work align with Pottawattamie County Community Foundation's mission to improve the lives of all county residents. 

American Midwest Ballet
AMB Season 14 Education & Community Engagement | $1,000

American Midwest Ballet's Community Engagement Program offers free performance tickets to over 1,000 people in the community of all ages. These individuals are students in our community, seniors in assisted or retirement living, and community members who receive services from over 30 nonprofit organizations.

Autism Action Partnership
Autism Training & Sensory Kits for First Responders | $4,200

Autism Action Partnership will provide two "Introduction to Autism for First Responders" for up to 120 First Responders in Pottawattamie County.  Sensory kits will also be provided to each attending agency containing items that can assist with calming and communicating with individuals with autism.

Avoca Holidays on Main Street
Live Reindeer Team & Sleigh Photo Op | $1,000

Avoca's Holidays on Main Event will be celebrating it's tenth year in 2023 and plan to bring back a live reindeer team and sleigh set up on Main Street for family photos! The day begins is with a 3K run, the legion hosts a meal, and a vendor fair will be at the church on Main Street. There will be hay rides, reindeer stick horses, hot chocolate, and of course, Santa!

BHSFL Bus Across Nebraska LCA
2024 Buss Across Nebraska | $500

This project is an annual event where transportation and other logistical and material assistance is given to enable individuals with vision or physical challenges to enjoy a 6 day winter event that otherwise would not be possible for them.

Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands
Readers to Leaders & Math Matters | $2,000

Readers to Leaders teaches the vital skills necessary to connect with and understand text, preparing youth for long term success.  Math Matters looks to supplement the math content Boys & Girls Club members are learning in school to ensure that they are making educational gains and keeping pace with the educational content of their grade level. 

Carson Business Club
30th Annual Carson Community Christmas | $1,000

The 30th annual Carson Christmas is an event that will be held on the first Wednesday in December.  This evening is filled with much community pride that also showcase Carson's business, volunteer organizations, and our citizens. 

Carson Community Rodeo
2023 Carson Community Rodeo - Grounds Improvement Project | $1,500

The mission of the Carson Community Rodeo is to be a leader in the sport of rodeo, while promoting the sport and the Carson community through innovation, people, and a quality event. Grant dollars support the purchase of concrete, labor and materials that will support improvement and maintenance for the rodeo grounds.

Carstens 1880 Farmstead Inc.
Steam Boiler Exhibit Reinstatement | $1,000

Carstens 1880 Farmstead is utilized to educate the general public on the history of farming in Iowa; illustrate to the general public the lifestyle and living conditions of early pioneer farmers in Iowa; and promote interest in local farm history by publications, programs and celebrations of the early farm settlers in Iowa. Repairing the boiler and the steam shed will allow the public to once again safely view the exhibit and learn about how our modern day practices have evolved from the early 1900s to present while simultaneously sparking an interest in preserving rural Iowa history.

Carter Lake City Hall
Carter Lake Village Winter Festival |  $1,000

The Carter Lake Village Winter Festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the holiday season while promoting a safe, family experience! The festival serves the 3,791 residents of Carter lake and funding from the Community Impact Grant will go toward the gifts for the approximately 220 children who will attend this year's event.

Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus
Back to School Extravaganza | $2,500

The Lakin Campus Back to School Event focuses on ensuring students in our western Iowa communities have access to a new backpack and school supplies regardless of their financial status. While the focus is on the students, the project also helps support their families by providing useful information about resources in the community they may benefit from, helping create stronger families.  Over 600 children and families are expected to benefit from this project.

CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs
Basic Health Needs Assistance Program | $1,500

CHI Health Mercy's basic health needs assistance program (BHNAP) addresses and alleviates barriers to patients receiving the medical equipment and materials needed to restore their health.  By working on the non-clinical factors that affect a person's health and well-being, the community's most vulnerable populations can live better and healthier lives. Funding also supports the needs of patients at the hospital's outpatient behavioral health clinic and PICC.

City of Avoca
Entertainment, Education, and Customer Engagement on Avoca Main Street | $500

From June through September, the Avoca Main Street organization hosts a Farmers Market on Main Street every Wednesday evening from 5:00 - 7:00PM. This will be the eighth year for the Farmers Market. The Longest Table event is in its seventh year, and has become a defining event of Avoca's downtown district. Each year a local chef purchases all-local food products, first from our market vendors and then from other nearby farms via FarmTable Procurement and Delivery. Chef James Calkins plans five courses for an all-local feast for 100 diners in the middle of the scenic Main Street district. 

City of Underwood
Community Volunteer Fire & Rescue Exterior Building Mural | $2,000

The Underwood Mural Project will create a community identity, engaging residents though participation in painting the mural, donating funds for the project, and using the mural as a photo background for individuals and groups. 

Completely Kids
Family Services at Catholic Charities Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program Shelter | $2,500

Completely KIDS’ Family Services at Catholic Charities Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program shelter supports survivors of domestic violence and their children to overcome the stressors and upheaval of violence and homelessness. This year, with Community Foundation for Western Iowa support, the program will serve 20 parents and 15 kids with intensive engagement activities. 

Council Bluffs Public Library
Shelter for Kiosk at Cochran Park | $3,000

The kiosk shelter will protect the anticipated library kiosk (material vending device) that is planned for the Cochran Park plaza along the FIRST AVE trail.  The shelter will be an all-weather partially enclosed structure that will protect the library kiosk (material vending device) from natural elements.  The shelter will also expand the foot print of the literacy and culturally based programming of the library to the west end of Council Bluffs. 

Council Bluffs Schools Foundation
Kids & Company Summer Programming | $500

The Council Bluffs Schools Foundation is proud to provide affordable childcare for working families. Kids & Company operates year-round offering before and after school care during the school year and full day care during the summer months. Field trips are important and assist in the growth and development of children. Funds from the Community Foundation for Western Iowa will be used to off-set some of the admission cost for our field trip to the zoo.

Dexter's Dream Foundation
2023 Sensory Santa | $1,500

Dexter's Dreams Sensory Santa experience is a judgement free zone where families and children are free to come and be exactly who they are in an environment supportive of their needs. The day is creating an experience of love, joy and acceptance of who not only their children are but their family as a whole. The day captures the holiday spirit in all essences every 20 minutes for 1 family and Santa and a flashdrive full of memories for years to come.

Eckels Memorial Library
Laminator | $1,000

The Eckels Memorial Library is committed to providing a welcoming place to promote the love of reading and the joy of learning to all members of our community.  Additionally, we provide free recreational and informational materials, programs for all ages, and materials that support cultural, social and other recreations needs in a variety of different formats. Funding from the Community Impact Grant is used toward a laminator that staff and community members can use.

First Responders Foundation
Peer Support Training for First Responders and Veterans in Pottawattamie County | $1,500

Peer Support helps decrease the day-to-day stress of first responders and can address the emotional strain of critical incidents. In addition, peer support can reduce the accumulation of frustration, anger, and helplessness, which can lead to alcohol abuse, substance abuse, depression, domestic violence, and suicide. First responder’s work not only affects the individual while working, but also influences home life and other relationships.

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Pottawattamie County Girl Scouts - Outdoors | $1,200

Pottawattamie County Girl Scouts discover outdoors with technology ranging from digital microscopes to rock hammers. They connect with peers and adult mentors while exploring the Pottawattamie County community. Funding from the Community Foundation for Western Iowa makes this high-quality educational STEM and outdoor program accessible at a low cost to Pottawattamie County Girl Scouts and their families. Grant funds will be used to purchase: digital microscopes will help Girl Scouts observe earthworms and their biology.

Golden Hills RC&D
10th Annual Southwest Iowa Art Tour | $2,000

The 2023 Southwest Iowa Art Tour will be the 10th annual event connecting rural communities through art. The tour will connect nearly 100 local artists with thousands of visits, which turn into sales and lasting relationships. Nearly a dozen communities unite to promote this great regional event, which supports the inclusion of art in everyday life and provides an economic boost to our area.

Historic General Dodge House
Annual Independence Day Celebration 2023 | $1,000

The Historic General Dodge House is our county's only National Historic Landmark. The museum and General Dodge himself, have had a long tradition of enthusiastically embracing Independence Day. his is an exciting opportunity for the Dodge House to give back--to say "thank you." This is a completely free event. 800 guests are expected for an Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 1st. Free food, chip, water, entertainment will be provided. Entrance to the Dodge House will be free of charge. 

Horses Help SWI, Inc.
Outside Horse Riding Area | $2,000

The Community Foundation Community Impact Grants dollars will be used to help fund the Outdoor Horse Riding Arena at Horses Help SWI, Inc.  This Outdoor Arena is a pivotal structural component to our site and will allow trained instructors to work with clients on mounted horse riding, obstacle courses, cart-driving, grooming and groundwork (non-riding programs, i.e. grooming and for emotional growth).  

Impact Hill
Community Resources | $2,000

Impact Hill is a safe, positive, and welcoming environment for the recreational, educational, social, and cultural advancement of all, through the restoration and redevelopment of the historic (Riverside) HS building. Impact Hill provides a variety of experiences for all residing in southwest Iowa. This project will support updating our bounce house, recreation game tables, and karaoke system. These updates will provide the best in recreational and entertainment options for those in southwest Iowa. We also will add more dodgeballs, baseballs, and softballs to increase the options for our customers who utilize Impact Hill. 

Inter-Faith Response
Program Fund | $2,000

Inter-Faith Response, Inc., with the generous assistance of the Community Foundation of Western Iowa, pays rents and utilities for the materially poor citizens of Council Bluffs.  We do this by paying landlords and utilities directly.  We will help approximately 12 families consisting of about 29 people.  

Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital Foundation
Caring for Our Communities Assistance Vouchers | $1,500

Vouchers are an integral part of the Caring For Our Communities (CFOC) initiative and provide additional agency and support to local at-risk, un-, and underinsured community members. These vouchers work in conjunction with CFOC team members to provide community members with personalized care and access to necessities like food, housing, medication, and durable medical equipment as well as one-on-one consultation. 

Justice For Our Neighbors
Pottawattamie County Immigration Legal Services | $1,000

As a nonprofit law firm, Justice for Our Neighbors' primary focus is providing free civil immigration legal services to low-income immigrants. Acting as a safety net for low-income immigrants, they serve clients that other legal service providers are unable to serve, either due to funding restrictions, staff composition and location, or lack of capacity. Immigration Legal Counsel provides free immigration legal services to Pottawattamie County residents earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level ($45,000 for a family of four).

Lookout Village
Countering Social Isolation with Tables & Chairs | $1,000

Lookout Village's mission is to create a caring community that supports members to remain in their homes safely and affordably, encourages social connections, and promotes healthy, vibrant and meaningful lives. The project aims to increase member socialization through the acquisition of 10 new tables and 30 chairs for the activity room in Lookout Village's newly rented building. 100% of grant funds will be applied to the purchase of tables and chairs.

Macedonia Historical Preservation Society
Painted Camel Gallery Cooperative Transition | $3,400

Macedonia Historical Preservation Society will establish the Painted Camel Gallery as an artists' cooperative under their organization and share resources, including programming, outreach, promotion and fundraising. Working together, the Gallery and the Museum will continue to enrich the lives of youth and adults in the Macedonia community and greater Pottawattamie County through cultural education, programming, and preservation.

Nebraska Diaper Bank
Pottawattamie County - Changing Diapers, Changing Lives | $1,000

Nebraska Diaper Bank’s mission is to provide diapers through collaborative partnerships to change lives and empower families in need. Our warehouse procures diapers and distributes to partnering agencies that provide direct family support for infants and young children.   The $5,000 grant will be used toward the purchase of 23,810 diapers (wrapped, labeled and distributed).  This equates to a one-month supplement for 366 babies.   

New Visions Homeless Services
Street Outreach Program | $2,000

New Visions Street Outreach services are based out of Council Bluffs and target individuals experiencing literal homelessness with the goal of attaining a safe and stable living environment. Utilizing a Housing First Approach, the program provides an initial assessment of needs and eligibility, addresses urgent physical needs, and engages in connecting and providing information and referrals with a focus on strength-based case management services that provide advocacy and support.

Omaha/Council Bluffs Bridges Out of Poverty
Southwest Iowa Poverty Alleviation Initiative | $2,000

Community Foundation grant funds will be used in Council Bluffs and SW Iowa to provide ten (10) week Getting Ahead classes to cohorts of 12 to 14 under-resourced individuals with multiple cohorts throughout the year. The curriculum is used in more than 200 U.S. communities and is 75% successful in helping under-resourced individuals lift themselves out of poverty. Our long-term goal is to reduce poverty in Pottawattamie County by 50% in the next 10 years.

Omaha Performing Arts
Southwest Iowa Music & Arts Education Programs | $1,000

In 2023-2024, O-pa will serve 2,000 K-12 students and teachers in western Iowa schools through its education programs, including Musical Explorers (K-2), Disney Musicals in Schools (grades 3-6), Nebraska High School Theater Academy (grades 7-12), Student Matinee Series (K-12), Jazz Academy (grades 7-12), and Arts Access (all ages). 

Omaha Symphony
2023-24 Mission Imagination at Iowa Western | $1,000

Mission Imagination is an interactive music program that teaches students age-appropriate music concepts for a foundation in music education. In 2024, the Omaha Symphony will perform “Mozart’s Missing Memory” at the Arts Center on the IWCC campus. The four performances will be open to any prekindergarten through third grade student.

Pottawattamie Arts Culture & Entertainment (PACE)
PACE Music in the Park Series | $1,500

Music in the Park is a series of free concerts held in Bayliss Park on Wednesday evenings in June and July. The concerts feature a variety of performances including country, jazz, rock and roll, and more. Music in the Park has become a regional event with patrons coming from greater Pottawattamie County and surrounding areas. 

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Inc.
No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town! | $1,500

Funding from the Community Foundation for Western Iowa Community Impact Grant enables the NE-Omaha Chapter to purchase necessary supplies and materials (lumber, hardware, new mattress, pillow, sheets and a blanket) to provide 20 fully furnished beds for bedless children in need at this time in their service area. At an approximate cost of $250 per bed, there is no amount too large or small that would not be well utilized furnishing a bed for a child in need in the Council Bluffs area.

Trivium Life Services
Skill-Building Development Through Hobby Exploration | $1,144.89

Through the "Skill-building Development through Hobby Exploration" project, Trivium clients, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, will get exposure to different areas of interest including sewing, outdoor recreation, nail art, and learning to play an instrument. This exploration will help teach clients valuable soft skills that they can take to other aspects of their lives, such as teamwork, self-care/relaxation, healthy coping mechanisms, and perseverance. 

Vision Treynor Group
The Treynor Family Recreation Complex - The "T" | $5,000

Funding from the Community Foundation for Western Iowa will finalize the baseball/softball complex by adding a batting cage.  The grant covers the building materials for the batting cage including concrete for the pad, steel framing and welding, netting, and Astro turf. The batting cages will be a final touch to create a fully functioning baseball and softball fields for local teams.

Walnut Community Center Foundation, Inc.
Fitness Center Equipment | $1,900

Based on feedback from current users of the Community Center's fitness equipment, this initiative is designed to improve the offerings to fitness center users, making the fitness center more competitive with other local centers, and thereby increase the number of users at teh Walnut Community Center.  This is based upon feedback from our current users.