Table to Table: Iowa’s Original Food Rescue Organization

Table to Table, a nonprofit organization located in Iowa City, Iowa is solving waste and hunger one step at a time. Their mission is to prevent wholesome food from going to waste by collecting it from one of forty donors each day and distributing it to individuals in need. In 2015 alone, Table to Table collected 1,487,177 pounds of nutritious food and distributed it free of charge to area agencies. Without this program, 881.3 tons of wholesome food would have ended up in the landfill last year. Since Table to Table charges no fees for its services, it relies strictly on donations from the community. If you are interested in donating or learning more about this organization, please visit https://table2table.org

5 Ways to Give Back this Halloween

  1. Buy your last minute Halloween costume at Spirit Halloween Store

With every costume purchase, consider making a donation to the Spirit of Children program, whose purpose is to make hospitals less scary for children and their families. The donations made at the Spirit Store located in Coralville Iowa will directly benefit the children at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. Each hospital uses the donations for what they need most, with the purpose of making the hospital experience better for children and their families.

highresstorefrontspirithalloweenexterior-copy-660x388

2. Trick-or-Treat for a good cause 

What’s better than candy? Donations that help kids in need.

This year, trick-or-treat for more than just candy. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a campaign promoted by the organization, dedicated to kids helping kids. By going door to door with UNICEF collection boxes, kids are encouraged to not only trick-or-treat for candy, but also for donations. The goal is to “help kids who need more than candy,” and for those living in impoverished countries where it may be difficult to get even the basics needed to survive.

Support UNICEF or your other favorite causes this Halloween, by going door to door for donations instead of candy.

unicef2

Pic credit:https://www.unicefusa.org/trick-or-treat/

3. Volunteer at local, safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating 

Stay safe this Halloween.

Communities and local school districts host alternatives to trick-or-treating by passing out Halloween goodies in a safe environment for children. These events would not be able to function without the help of volunteers in the community. Check local listings to see where you can help! There is nothing better than a safe Halloween.

4. Donate your leftover candy 

Don’t feel obligated to eat all your leftover candy. Consider donating it.

Charities are looking for factory-sealed, wrapped candy donations after Halloween is over. The Ronald McDonald House here in Iowa City is taking candy donations to sweeten the days of children and families that are staying at the house.

484140635

5. Donate gently used Halloween costumes 

Don’t know what to do with your costumes after Halloween? Donate them.

Ween Dream is one of many nonprofit organizations that gives free Halloween costumes to kids in need all across the country. Most of these children would not be able to afford a costume without the help of your donation. Ween Dream is located in Louisiana, but makes it easy to donate your gently used costumes so you don’t have to put them back into storage.

Other local charities in the area such as The Ronald McDonald House and Big Brother Big Sister are also taking costume donations. Donating is the best way to get rid of that costume stash that has been taking up room in your house for years.

1439331497950

Pic credit: http://www.weendream.org/how-to-help/

Shelter House of Iowa City

The Shelter House of Iowa City is the only homeless center located in Johnson County. It provides safe shelter for men, women, and children and helps people improve their quality of life. They offer housing and supportive services to help individuals and families transition beyond homelessness. Here are the statistics beyond the house.

 

new-piktochart_172_cabf1f66692bf70ec67c46f2b5b95af247a73254

To view the full Piktochart please visit https://magic.piktochart.com/output/17401742-shelter-house-iowa-city 

Ronald McDonald House Hosts its Annual Pop Tab Collection Program

Every year, The Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City hosts its annual pop tab collection program. All of the proceeds earned from the donated pop tabs go directly back to the house benefiting all of the families who stay there. To learn more on how to donate visit http://rmhc-eiwi.org/pages/how-to-help/donate/pull-tabs.php


fullsizerender-1fullsizerender-2-2

The Crisis Center of Johnson County Continues to Fight Hunger with New Mobile Food Pantry

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-11-41-00-am

This past week, the Crisis Center of Johnson County announced its new mobile food pantry program, in hopes to combat hunger in the community. Once a month, the mobile pantry will take food to three sites in the community that are considered to be “food deserts,” an area in which it is hard to buy fresh, quality food. These sites include, Forest View Mobile Home Park, Coles Mobile Home Park and Breckenridge Estates. People who live in food deserts need hunger relief but often have a hard time getting to their local food pantry.

After concerns about people not being able to get to the food bank arose from the community of Johnson County, the mobile food pantry was launched in hopes to bring the food to those in need. The goal of the program is to make it easier on residents and families in the community to have access to fresh, high quality food.

The mobile pantry will stay for about three hours at each site and people in the community can then come and pick up food for themselves and their families. The van will be set up grocery style, where residents can shop for the items they need. According to The Crisis Center of Johnson County, the mobile pantry will serve an estimated 300 families each month.

The Crisis Center is in need of volunteers to help transport food from the center to the mobile pantry locations. Volunteers are also needed to help people sign up for services and to collect data. The mobile food pantry would not be able to run successfully without the help of volunteers.

img_5593

The Crisis Center hopes this new program will become a great success and is looking to expand to other cities in the near future.

For more information about the Crisis Center of Johnson County, their new program, and how to volunteer, visit http://www.jccrisiscenter.org

Nonprofit Spotlight: United Action for Youth

uay

Since 1970, United Action for Youth located in Iowa City, Iowa has been providing programs to thousands of teenagers and parents in Johnson County and other surroundings counties. It provides a creative place for youth to have a voice and give back to their community.

The primary goal of UAY is to give teenagers an opportunity to gain self-esteem, skills and leadership that will benefit them later on in life. Through respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity, and stewardship, UAY is a safe place for teenagers under the age of twenty-one to find opportunities to create, grow, and lead.

UAY programs are offered at schools and agencies throughout the Iowa City area and provide many different opportunities for youth of all ages.

The teen parent program serves pregnant and/or parenting teens under the ages of twenty-one in Johnson County. With a curriculum focused on parents being the most important teacher in their child’s life, family support workers provide in-home parenting skill training and child development education to help create a nurturing home environment.

The transitional living program provides safe and stable housing for homeless youth 17-21 years of age in the Iowa City area. It is designed to provide support and education to help youth become independent and eventually live on their own.

UAY also provides counseling services and a number of different activities and services for teens and their parents. Six licensed therapists and counselors provide assistance on topics including family conflicts, depression or anxiety, trauma, and grief and loss to teens and/or their parents.

In 2013, UAY opened its first Youth Center in Iowa City providing a safe and comfortable space for teens to hangout and express themselves through art and music. With different activities scheduled everyday, the UAY Youth Center is the perfect spot for teens to hangout after school or on the weekends.

With all the different programs and services UAY offers, they hope to continue to inspire teenagers to create bright futures with hope and promise.

For more information about the programs and services UAY provides, visit their website at http://www.unitedactionforyouth.org/content/

~Pictures taken from the United Action for Youth website

10686844_10152750556314084_8593442280706297141_n

Why Volunteering is the Cool Thing to do

152402012

Make a difference

  • Volunteering gives you the opportunity to be a part of a community and world you want to live in and are proud of. You can have a direct impact on changing someone else’s life.

Become a part of a community                

  • Volunteering in the place where you live and work offers the unique experience to make a difference while getting a different perspective of the people who you consider your neighbors. Support families, support the youth, improve schools and beautify your community.

Strengthen your resume 

  • Volunteering looks great on any resume and can help you land that next dream job.

Increase your social network

  • Volunteering connects you to people all over the world and is a great opportunity to work with people in different careers.

Learn new skills

  • Volunteering not only helps you get out of your comfort zone, but also helps improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills.

Inspire others 

  • By making the bold choice to volunteer, you are now a leader and will motivate others around you to also give back.

Explore career and personal interests

  • Working in the nonprofit sector is not only rewarding, but also a great way to discover new interests and skills that other careers do not provide.

Develop new friendships

  • Meet others from all over the globe that also enjoy giving back and form relationships that can have a lasting impression on your life.

It is good for your health

  • Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels decrease, and your overall sense of life happiness increase

It’s fun

  • What more would someone want in life than a free opportunity to make a difference, form new friendships and inspire others.

80356535

Team Breast Friends Gear up for Second Annual 5k Rack Run

On September 25, 2016, Team Breast Friends will host their second annual rack run 5k. The event kicks off with a 5k at 10am and a family fun run will follow at 10:15am at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City, Iowa. All proceeds will go directly to those impacted by breast cancer in the community. There will be plenty of pre-race fun including photo opportunities and chances to win cool prizes.

After hearing the news that several close friends had been diagnosed with breast cancer, Team Breast Friends was formed in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2008. Originally named IC Hope Team, they have since changed their name to Team Breast Friends in 2010.

Their main goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of people impacted by breast cancer and by bringing awareness to those in the community. Team Breast Friends also raises funds to support those who need help paying for mammograms and other diagnostic tests.

In 2015, the 5k Rack Run raised over $5,000 for patients at Mercy Iowa City. Later that year, Team Breast Friends was the recipient of the Solon Women Pink Night Fundraising Event. The organization travels all over Iowa to different events in hopes of making a positive difference in the lives impacted by breast cancer.

Since the organization started in 2008, it has raised over $300,000 to help find a cure for breast cancer. It is continuing to expand and is always looking for new volunteers who are just as passionate as to finding a cure and making a positive impact on the lives of those affected.