Legislative Forum

Please join us for this years 6th annual Legislative Forum.  If you have questions or concerns you would like addressed to our Legislative panel, please email them ahead of time to  Holly@cedarvalleynonprofits.org

Date/Time: Friday, December 1st from  8-9:30 a.m.
Location:    Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa
                   3117 Greenhill Circle  Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
Cost:          Free to CVNA members; $25 non-members

This is a great venue to have your voice heard and is offered to all CVNA members.  If space is available, we will open up registration for non-members. Please  click here   to register for this great forum.  Deadline to register is Wednesday, November 29, 2017.  

Community Events

Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley invites non-profit member agency representatives to attend the next VALU training.  Come play the Volunteer Management 
Game  and take-away some basic management elements to support your volunteer programs. It'll be a fun training full of conversation, best practice sharing, and networking.

Wednesday, December 13 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Philanthropy Center ( 425 Cedar Street, Waterloo , Third Floor)
RSVP to Anne Nass ( anne_nass@vccv.org
This meeting is open to anyone interested in volunteer management.

On  November 27th and 29th from  5-8 p.m.,
co me out to Chick-fil-A and show your support

Simply let your cashier know that you are there to support Cedar Valley United Way and part of the proceeds from the evening will go to benefit our efforts to create positive change in our community. 
Job Opportunities 

Job Title:  Warehouse Coordinator/Truck Driver

This position is responsible for safe and efficient daily warehouse operations, delivery of food to clients, and pick up of donations from donors in the food bank service area. 

For job description, qualifications and how to apply, please click here.   
Around the Cedar Valley 

The Otto Schoitz Foundation is honored to announce the award of $1.75 million to 16 organizations aligned with its mission of improving the health and well being of the Cedar Valley. The projects funded by these grant awards impact over 25,000 citizens, with a focus on community betterment, education and development, and health and human services.  

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley was awarded $1 million to construct a new Teen Center in Waterloo, largely designed by input from our community's teenagers.  The Teen Center will be located near East High School establishing dedicated space for tutoring, computer and digital graphics skill development, music creativity, SAT/ACT testing preparation, counseling, direct homework assistance and supervised recreational space.

The remaining Fall 2017 Grant Award Recipients and their projects include:
The Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with these organizations in improving life in the Cedar Valley.  For full details on the programs granted, please click here.

The Otto Schoitz Foundation's Spring Grant cycle opens December 1, 2017, accepting grant requests through December 31, 2017.  Qualifying organizations may apply for funding via the Foundation's online grant management system, found on their website at www.ottoschoitzfoundation.org.

Sector Solutions

The Value of Saying "YES" when you want to say "NO" by Holly Dusenbery November 2017

Growing up poor and working from the age of 15 to help my family, I always knew I would want to be involved with helping others. However, I  wasn't sure how to go about this.  You see, I was raised in a large city where you kind of get lost amongst the crowd of people. All I knew at that time was I had a passion to want to make the world a better place. Although we were poor, we were very rich in "helping others" as my family always included those without a place to go for the holidays.  We always had a porch full of people singing and dancing, memories that I will cherish always.  It was this that gave me my inner passion to be a better person a
nd to know that being poor was just a number but being rich was the heart of giving back and/or including others in our family.  

Until I moved to Iowa 15 years ago, I plugged away at my life where the "desire" to help others got stronger.  We adopted two awesome kids and my life was starting to feel more complete.  However, I was still missing something. I began helping out in the school's cafeteria, where I saw an incredible amount of food/milk being wasted.  I thought to myself, this has to change but how? YES I wanted to make a change but NO, why open this can of worms and would anyone really listen to me anyway?  With every day that passed and every bag of carrots, whole bananas, etc. kept getting tossed the YES sprang into action.  No more letting the NO paralyze me.  I met with Barb Prather (Director at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank) who helped me get the documentation needed in order to save the foods inside our schools and so that journey began.  All elementaries in the Cedar Falls School district now have baskets in their cafeterias where non perishable food items can be saved and given to children in the free and reduced meal program for breakfast and/or to take home each week.  I am glad I kicked my internal NO to the curb. 

T hen, my husband was approached by United Way to be a campaign co-chair along with the other CEO of Allen Hospital.  Let's just say "life changed" as the other CEO was no longer able to fulfill their commitment.  Jack came home and said, "guess what you are going to help me with?"  Needless to say my reaction was shock and disbelief.  I started to panic as I have never had experience with public speaking and the thought of standing up in front of a room full of people petrified me. My initial reaction was NO but deep inside I was screaming YES.  YES, this was my opportunity to fulfill my "desire" but NO I can't do this.  I didn't know where to begin. I wanted to stay in my safe zone. It was like learning to walk - put one foot in front of the other. I knew if I didn't agree to take this opportunity, I would regret it for the rest of my life so I said YES, even though internally I was saying NO.
This YES, turned into being one of the best decisions of my life.  Not only did I get to see first hand the needs within our Community, it got me outside of my box.  It got me out there fulfilling my desire to make a difference.  With every speech the NO kept paralyzing me but when I spoke so passionately about something I believed in, the YES came through.   With time, the YES kept getting louder and the NO started to fade.  

This YES, turned into another nonprofit opportunity, my job at the Cedar Valley Nonprofit Association.  When first approached, I was NO way!  I am not ready to commit myself to this on a regular basis as I have two young children at home, and frankly I was exhausted from the United Way campaign and what seemed liked, never ending rallies.  So I struggled with how many of these under privileged people are exhausted with the thought of how to put food on their tables or which bill gets paid this week. My selfishness got put in check real quick and my answer to take the job became YES.   I realized immediately, my decision to take this opportunity was a good one.  It got my foot in the nonprofit world.  It has given me the opportunity to learn and grow.  It has given me the opportunity to fulfill my "desire."   Another opportunity came my way to take a part-time role within United Way as a campaign associate.  I started asking a lot of questions, of course my initial thought was NO.  How can I keep up with 2 part time jobs, run a family and household, etc. The same struggles others face daily.  Who am I to say NO, so of course I said YES and I am very grateful I did.  

There are days where I still think I bit off more than I can chew.  Then I see the difference I am making and it makes the YES out power the NO.  Sometimes in life, it is alright to get out of your comfort zone and have your internal NO's become YES's as I am extremely grateful everyday that I chose this path. 

Happy Thanksgiving

The CVNA would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your membership but mostly we are thankful for what all of you contribute to making the Cedar Valley a better place to live.  
 In our first 5 years we have: (continually being updated)
  • 76 member organizations
  • 6 investors
  • 1,500 program registrations
  • 171 hours of programming
  • 170 e-newsletters
  • Grant Gurus workshops
  • 188 jobs advertised
  • 20+ organizations connected with 50 UNI students 
  • added additional educational training workshops to our members
  • won the "Gift of the Heart Innovation" award in 2013
  • Partners with Idealware
  • Developed a new website 2017
Check out the other benefits of membership  HERE    If you are interested in joining CVNA, you can access our application form online 

Share your good news with the CVNA and be featured in future e-newsletters.   Have you implemented an innovative idea?  Are you hiring?  Have you created or updated your website?  Are you hosting an event?   Let the CVNA spread the word. 

To submit an item for the next newsletter, click on the  submit news page.  Please note that only member organizations who have submitted membership applications may post items.  The newsletter is published every two weeks.
Holly Dusenbery | Coordinator Cedar Valley Nonprofit Association |   holly@cedarvalleynonprofits.org| Website | Facebook | | Event Calendar |