A Place of Welcome Capital Campaign


For 30 years, the Catherine McAuley Center has been a place of welcome where people have the safety to learn and grow. As our community has evolved, we’ve adapted to meet its emerging needs, providing services to over 700 individuals – immigrants, refugees and women experiencing crisis – in the last year.

Our former building, a repurposed convent, was bursting at the seams, with tiny offices forged out of closets and tutoring sessions squeezed into the kitchen and lobby.

The lack of space translated into waiting lists and unmet needs. To fulfill our commitment to our community, we’re inviting you to be part of creating a new place of welcome that is allowing us to expand services and achieve accessibility.


Extend Your Hand in Welcome

Our expansion, renovations, and improvements require substantial community support. Every gift will help us get there.

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Our Goal

Projected Total Cost: $5.495M

  • $1,675,000 Purchase of building
  • $2,215,000 Construction and renovation
  • $1,000,000 Endowment
  • $430,000 Professional fees
  • $175,000 Property purchase and pre-development
  • Campaign pledges are encouraged and may be extended over a period of up to three years.
  • A reminder will be sent to you each year.
  • Please call the Development Office at 319-731-0448 to arrange your pledge.
Matching Gifts
  • Matching gifts through your employer or spouse’s employer can double or even triple your gift!
Naming Opportunities
  • All donors to the Place of Welcome campaign will be recognized in a special list of contributors to be published at the conclusion of the campaign.
  • Names of contributors of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a permanent, centralized recognition display on-site.
  • Gifts of $10,000 or more are eligible for special recognition in a designated area. Contact the campaign office at (319) 731-0448 for more details.
Tax Deductibility
  • Your gift is tax deductible to the greatest extent of the law.

Cover of case statement bookletFor more information on giving to the campaign and a closer look at our vision for A Place of Welcome, download our full case statement booklet.

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Catherine McAuley Center Is

A Place of Connection A Place of Learning A Place of Stability
Women’s Services serves single women experiencing homelessness or other crises, providing safe housing and supportive services as they heal from trauma and work towards long-term stability.

In 2018, 40 women met or made progress toward 73% of self-identified goals in mental health, employment, and healthy relationships.

Man and woman look at textbookEducation Services provides free one-on-one and small-group tutoring to adults learning English, preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Exam, or studying basic math or computer skills.

In 2018, More than 85% of students reported increased skills and confidence in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English.

Refugee & Immigrant Services provides refugee resettlement services, employment programming and job-seeking support, and case management to support refugee and immigrant families in achieving self-sufficiency.

In 2018, 228 immigrants and refugees accessed CMC’s employment services, and at least 70% found jobs. Most were still working after six months.

Tara's portrait, smiling in front of window Young, black man smiles at camera
“You’re here to do what you need to better your life. You’re here to learn who you are and how to apply it outside.” -Tara


“I learned to speak, read, and write English. Now I want to encourage others to do the same, because it means more opportunities for themselves and their families.” – Rogelio “It was like, wow, these people are great. How can they welcome me? They don’t even know me.” – Jacques

The Space

The new space will increase the number of people served by CMC, equip more individuals in our community with skills and connections that contribute to self-sufficiency and community integration, improve the quality of services provided, and contribute to the vitality of the Wellington Heights neighborhood. The new building, at 1220 Fifth Avenue SE, is just blocks away from our former facility.

Click image below for full view of the benefits the new space offers.Floor plan of 1220 5th Avenue SE, without detail

Our Growth

From our earliest days in “the building on stilts” through more than two decades at a repurposed convent, and on to our newest home, the Catherine McAuley Center has grown and adapted in response to community need.

Click image below to see key milestones in the Center’s growth over 30 years, and check out a blog post about how the new building helped CMC respond to community needs in the aftermath of the derecho.

Timeline of CMC's history

Our Campaign Team

Steve and Susan Ovel, campaign co-chairs

“I challenge this community to support this campaign to solidify one of this city’s most important nonprofit agencies, one that’s working very, very hard to include individuals from around the world in this community in a very positive and constructive way.” –Steve Ovel, Campaign Co-Chair

Campaign Co-chairs

Steve and Susan Ovel

Campaign Steering Committee

Michele Brock
Brian Globokar
Kay Jackson
Stephen Jackson
Anne King
Nate Klein
Leslee Sandberg
Max Smith
Joanne Stevens
Mark Watson

Honorary Steering Committee

Tom and Kathleen Aller
Loren and Patty Coppock
Rex and Kathy Eno
Sister Mary Lou Podzimek, RSM
Randy and Lisa Ramlo
Lynda Schimberg

Campaign Staff

Paula Land, Executive Director
Kelsey Steines, Director of Development & Communications