Growing Hope

Garden and food pantry collageThis growing season, Daniel and Rachel are finding belonging and hope in the Catherine McAuley Center’s (CMC) community garden, where they will work side by side with other students, residents, and refugee newcomers to grow produce for their families and CMC’s food pantry.

“I want to garden because I like nature, and it’s in my nature to work, to dig,” says Daniel from Uganda. Rachel, a resident who will be tending to the CMC garden for a second season knows that making the garden a community effort is rewarding, “At the garden, we work as part of a team. We all enjoy reaping the produce and then cooking it together. It tastes better because we’ve grown it!”

Daniel and Rachel’s work in the garden is a great example of the inclusive community that is nourished at the Catherine McAuley Center—one where neighbors work together and embrace opportunities to not only better themselves and their families, but the whole community.

With a monthly gift of $20, you can provide the tools and opportunities needed for hope to grow inside and outside the garden:

  • Eight weeks of case management to help a resident reach her unique goals
  • Job coaching for one newcomer as they pursue new or better employment
  • A six-week class for students preparing for U.S. citizenship.

Your pledge of monthly support to the Catherine McAuley Center as a Mustard Seed giver will sprout into abundant opportunities for our neighbors to find belonging and hope. Will you help us branch out to help our neighbors thrive in new ways?

Movin’ for McAuley 5K Walk/Run 2014!

11th Annual Movin' for McAuley 5K Walk/RunGet ready to get movin’ at the Movin’ for McAuley 5K walk/run! The 11th annual Movin’ for McAuley is scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Lowe Park in Marion. Put on your walking shoes and get ready for a morning full of fun!

A NEW LOCATION, A NEW DATE:lowe park Movin' for McAuley 5K Walk/Run

This year our 5K walk/run will be held at the beautiful Lowe Park in Marion. This new facility boasts a beautiful trail through the surrounding countryside. Because our event will be outside, it will be in May instead of March.


Movin’ for McAuley is now a 5K Run as well as walk. Runners will follow a certified 5K race path. Awards will go to the top runners in each age/gender category and the top male/female runners overall.


Movin’ for McAuley continues to be a great event for the whole family. A kids’ fun run and a variety of games, activities, and inflatable playhouses will be available for children. All participants can enjoy breakfast and coffee. After the 5k walk/run, prizes will be awarded to runners as well as to the largest teams and highest fundraisers.

Help Raise Money for CMC Programs

Movin’ for McAuley is one of our largest fundraising activities at the Center, and its success is critical to our ability to continue our services. Last year, more than 350 people attended the event, and we raised more than $30,000! This time, we have a goal of 450 walkers and 100 runners. We need your help to make this year even more successful!

CMC 2013 Year In Review

By Paula Land, Executive Director
Paula Land

Reflecting on CMC 2013

As we said goodbye to Amelia Waddle, our Administrative Coordinator of over seven years, I began to reflect on all the many people who have contributed to where the Catherine McAuley Center is today. Amelia’s contributions were many. She has tremendous knowledge of the organization, the people, the services and needs, but perhaps most importantly, everyday she brought a warm heart and sincere belief in the CMC mission. CMC is approaching a significant milestone, our 25th year, and so we’ve begun to look through old photos, videos, and stories and are reminded of the many friends and contributors of the past who shared in the CMC mission and gave so generously of themselves.. Many are still with us today, and others who’ve lost touch hopefully have a fond place in their heart for CMC.

The Annual Report, is our opportunity to reflect on the prior year. It is important to share and celebrate with you our accomplishments of the past, for these are the events and experiences that help shape our tomorrow.  We acknowledge that each person impacted by their CMC experience has committed to making a better life for themselves and their family. We show up every day and do what we do because of the people who are willing to make this commitment – and we have the tools and the programming specifically designed to help fulfill the goals of those who seek our services.

So, we look back and give thanks, not just for successes and accomplishments of the past year, but also for those who have paved the way and contributed over the last 24 years so that today we can be a strong and sustainable organization that continues to adapt and evolve to the growing, changing needs in our community. We look forward to meeting our new friends as we embark on our next quarter century of serving the community by transforming lives through education and housing.

We hope you enjoy reading about the stories, stats, and activities of the past year and let us know what CMC story YOU have to share with us.


CMC 2013 Highlights:

·         Improved communications with a new website and new phone system

·         Increased capacity for tutoring by creating study pods and installing carpeting in the basement and adjusting Education program hours to allow for more tutor pairings.

·         Reached another record year for number of students and tutors in Adult Basic Education

·         Engaged current donors with our first annual donor reception and provided for a new option for donors by establishing a “Friends Endowed Fund” at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

·         Improved facilities by replacing flooring and remodeling a bathroom in the Transitional Housing Program

·         Added more contact hours with clients in Transitional Housing by adding an Aftercare Program and hiring an additional part-time Support Services Coordinator.

Read more of our FY13 Annual Report.

Looking Ahead: 25th Anniversary Preparations

by Ann Sullivan

History PhotosI’m at an age where I often say, “Where has the time gone?” Maybe you’ll join me in that sentiment when I remind you that the Catherine McAuley Center is making plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary. That’s right. Twenty-five years of serving those in need, those who want to transform their lives. Whether you were one of the first financial donors 25 years ago or just recently began giving one hour a week as a tutor, you are an important piece of our 25-year history. Oh yes, things have changed over the years. What began as a small organization, meeting in a small space to help women with children work toward their GED, has grown to three buildings serving women in transitional housing and men and women who wish improve their basic academic skills, learn English or become U.S. citizens.

Being a tutor and now a board member has been so rewarding for me. I have been present for two of my students’ citizenship ceremonies. One of my students has now become a tutor herself. I have encouraged a few of my friends to become tutors and they now feel that sense of closeness to the Center. Each of us who has given of our time, talent, or treasure has a story to tell. What’s yours?

We encourage you to share your stories or photos with us as we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Contact Nicki Ross at 731-0448 or email her at if you have a story to tell.

 Read more of our FY13 Annual Report.

Be sure to check out our Facebook in the new year for photos and posts celebrating 25 years at CMC.