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Poverty to Possibilities Update

We are nearing a month out from having Donna Beegle visit our community and we wanted to provide a brief update.

First, thank you for attending Poverty to Possibilities on April 4th! Donna spoke to 500 community members in 4 sessions, as well as 125 high school students.  Attendees from local governments, businesses, faith organizations, human service agencies, health care agencies, education professionals, and passionate community members participated in the day’s sessions. The energy, support, and conversations from those in attendance have been truly inspiring.

MCC has released the recording of Donna Beegle’s evening session:

If you know someone that wished they would have caught one of the sessions on April 4th – please send them the link.

So what has been happening and where are we going?

The conversation for next steps is being led by Aligned Impact Muscatine. This isn’t just a conversation on poverty, it is much, much more.  It is about creating an opportunity where pathways to stability, education, and training are easily accessible by members of our community. AIM’s Adult Education & Training Strategy Network is investigating whether we can bring Donna back to our community in June to facilitate a conversation around developing a long-term strategy. This group has also conducted interviews with people living in poverty and will be doing focus groups to get at the specific barriers people are facing. As soon as we have more information, AIM will communicate opportunities to participate.

We know many people are impassioned to do something right away. Below are a few organizations in town that are doing great work in our community and could use your help. We’ll keep you up to date periodically with more ideas of ways to help right now and how you can participate in helping plan the community’s long-term strategy.

Love working with kids?

-Big Brothers / Big Sisters  is always looking for committed individuals to serve as Bigs.  This is a rewarding opportunity to mentor a child.

-United Way, MCSA and Sunset Park are looking for summer volunteers to help serve the summer children’s lunch program.  Various schedules and dates are available.  Contact Nichole at United Way to learn more at 563-263-5963.

Is making sure people have enough food at home important to you?

-The Muscatine Community Food Pantry, 315 Iowa Ave. is in need of volunteers. Call Food Pantry Coordinator Bill Dyar at 563-263-7512, ext. 132. Cash donations are also accepted.

Are you interested in helping but don’t have time to volunteer?

-There is a Kid’s First fundraiser you can participate in on June 4th.  All money raised directly supports children in our community by reducing barriers to their participation in school and extracurricular activities.

-The Muscatine Center for Social Action offers a Homeless Prevention Program which helps to keep people in their home. In 2016, they served 227 households with 343 children working to keep them stably housed.  Donations toward this program will help maintain housing for families in our community.

We look forward to working together to improve the lives of everyone living in Muscatine.