Dear Friends of Catherine McAuley Center,
Through the challenges and changes of the past several years, community members like you have given us reasons to celebrate time and time again:
- For years, volunteer tutors squeezed into a room filled with as many study spaces as possible to teach and encourage adult learners.
- Caring neighbors brought welcome signs and balloons to greet refugee newcomers at the airport, and offered support as job coaches as the Center expanded refugee resettlement and support services.
- Catherine McAuley Center supporters helped us pack up more than two decades of history from our former building and move into our new space!
- Local citizens got to work to launch a temporary shelter for refugees displaced from their apartments after the derecho, and ensured everyone was relocated to permanent housing within 60 days, while pitching in to mitigate damages to the new facility we’d moved into just one month before.
- Volunteers of all kinds shifted to teaching online, while others stepped in to provide lunch to young English learners who navigated online learning in the one undamaged wing of the Catherine McAuley Center’s new facility.
- Staff and community collaborators worked to expand services for more than 100 unhoused individuals right here in Cedar Rapids as homelessness counts reached record highs in summer 2021.
- With open arms, our community welcomed 249 Afghans who quickly fled their home country for safety in the matter of just five months, making for more refugee arrivals in a single period of time than CMC had ever seen!
Behind all of this, an incredible team of fundraising volunteers, steering committee members, and staff pressed on with A Place of Welcome: The Campaign to Expand the Catherine McAuley Center to ensure the Center’s location would not just meet the current needs, but would be a place where our neighbors could find hope and opportunity for years to come.
Admittedly, the Place of Welcome campaign was paused a few times to focus staff efforts on critical services for our clients in the face of the global and local crises mentioned above. But today, we are pleased to announce that we have raised $5 million and are celebrating the completion of the campaign!
Thank you to every volunteer and contributor who helped create our new Place of Welcome. Your support has already provided countless opportunities for the Center to meet the needs of our time in ways that there was simply no space for prior to July 2020. Just watch Jacques’ story for one example of the hope people find through the educational & supportive services at the Catherine McAuley Center!
Director of Development & Communications