Help Iowa groups build our communities; Donate to her work through A Community Thrives – Des Moines Register | Candle Made Easy

The Des Moines Register published several articles this year examining the difficulties Iowa families face in finding affordable, quality child care.

The challenges of finding suitable care are even greater if your child has special needs.

For families in the Iowa City area, The Arc of Southeast Iowa can help. It operates an inclusive child care program for children with and without special needs.

The program now serves 30 children, but many more are on a waiting list. As such, The Arc plans to more than double the program to serve approximately 70 children and is raising funds to expand its facility.

One of the ways it does this is through A Community Thrives, a grant and crowdfunding initiative of the Gannett Foundation and sponsored by the Des Moines Register’s parent company, Gannett.

Emily Haworth's 3-year-old son, Nolan, who has special needs, has been attending The Arc of Southeast Iowa in Iowa City for the past two years.  She said: "He has gained confidence and skills with every week he has been at The Arc." The Arc is raising money through the A Community Thrives program to expand its childcare facility.

The program is designed to provide our readers with a convenient way to support local nonprofits, schools, and community organizations that are doing important work to build our communities.

So far:A Community Thrives: Here’s a way to help hard-working groups build your community

This year, 17 organizations across Iowa, including The Arc, qualified to participate in the fundraising portion of A Community Thrives. You can read more about these organizations and what they do and make donations at acommunitythrives.mightycause.com. (Filter by Iowa.) The fundraiser began on July 18th and will continue until August 12th.

All participating organizations will keep the crowdfunding money raised on their individual A Community Thrives pages. Participants who meet fundraising thresholds—a minimum of $3,000 in eligible donations for smaller organizations and $6,000 for larger organizations—will qualify for grants to be announced this fall. Last year, A Community Thrives awarded $35,000 in grants to organizations across Iowa.

A community thrives.

This year’s participants reflect efforts to address ongoing and emerging needs in our communities and to uplift the human spirit.

More:Your donations through A Community Thrives help Iowa nonprofits fill important funding gaps

One of the organizations participating for the first time is the United Upper Nile South Sudanese Community Association in Iowa, which aims to help refugees from this war-torn country build better lives in Iowa. The association operates a pantry in Des Moines, which serves about 120 families monthly. Inflation has made it even harder for the club’s clients to support their families.

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