Here at the Catherine McAuley Center, we’ve seen an outpouring of volunteer support over the past year, and in many creative ways from tutoring online, holding supply drives, assembling and delivering food boxes, to cleaning the new building and helping the Center move into its new home. When the derecho hit in August, “The work after the storm really inspired people to step up,” says Katie Splean, Volunteer & Outreach Manager at CMC. Volunteers helped flip our old building and turned it into a shelter for displaced refugee and immigrant families, and we received an outpouring of support through donations from our community. These basic necessities provided stability for families experiencing crisis, and are continuing to provide ongoing supportive services as we navigate the aftermath of this disaster.
In virtual “tutor talks” this year, volunteers asked questions about how they could be advocates for the populations we serve, and volunteers helped get people to the polls to vote. More than 200 food boxes were assembled and delivered to refugee and immigrant families experiencing food insecurity. These are just a few of the ways that you have inspired and helped the community this past year!
“It’s clear that the community is engaged and wanting to help”. Katie says that community interest has been high since the derecho. In fact, since July 1st of 2020, volunteers have donated more than 8,000 hours of their time, and 158 have been new to CMC. This is incredible, given the current pandemic!
In the future, we look forward to seeing more of both new and long-time volunteers around CMC. “Vaccines are rolling out and we’re looking forward to welcoming people into our building when they feel comfortable,” adds Katie.
April 18 -24 is National Volunteer week, so we could think of no better way to say “thank you,” than to feature all those who have helped us in the last year.
Thanks for all you do to make Cedar Rapids a welcoming community!