Foundation for the Future of Delaware County grants support a safe return to school

The seasons have changed, but the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County continues to see new pandemic-related needs arise throughout Delaware County, particularly in schools, child care settings and individual households. 

Since its inception at the end of March, the Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has raised more than $52,000, including a generous $20,000 gift from an anonymous, local donor, and granted nearly $27,000 to nonprofits in the county. 

The Foundation has focused recent grants on a safe return to school. Through a partnership with Educator THRIVE, a framework for supporting youth brain health, all three school districts in Delaware County now have access to a Pandemic Resilience Building Program at no cost. The program offers nine modules focused on pandemic-related personal and team resilience. 

Thanks to the anonymous donor, teachers at West Delaware, Maquoketa Valley and Edgewood-Colesburg School Districts were offered support for returning to school. Maquoketa Valley schools have used this opportunity to obtain a $2,500 grant for 200 face shields for their educators and staff.  

In further support of those working in education, a grant from the Relief Fund allowed First Lutheran Church to provide individually wrapped cookies as a show of appreciation for all school staff. 

Foundation for the Future of Delaware County always prioritizes strengthening families — and it’s even more important in difficult times. The HOPE Fund, developed by Delaware County Pay-It-Forward and funded by the Foundation, was created to serve those who have experienced income loss due to the pandemic and, likely for the first time, need assistance in the form of gas or food. 

Recently, the Hope Fund has expanded its mission to include child care assistance for those who qualify. Organizers anticipate that many community members are falling into a resource gap, not qualifying for state and county support but still struggling to make ends meet. With the help of Delaware County Community Services, the HOPE Fund provides for those who fall into this gap. Applications for HOPE Fund assistance are available at Delaware County Community Services.

To further assist families, the Foundation awarded a $1,250 Relief Fund grant to Community Childcare of Manchester for child care assistance.  

Additional grants for the health and safety of Delaware County residents include:

  • Hand sanitation stands for the Delaware County Fair
  • Ultraviolet lights for sanitation at Regional Medical Center, Hopkinton Ambulance and Earlville Ambulance
  • Free masks for the public through Regional Medical Center

Partnerships from all corners of the county are enhancing the Foundation’s efforts. 

The Foundation provided the Good Neighbor Society $2,500 for technology improvements to make virtual calls more accessible to its residents during isolation. Delaware County Pay-It-Forward receives continued community support with donations of word puzzles, magazines and games for the Penn Center, Good Neighbor Society and Edgewood Nursing Home.  

“The Foundation has had the honor of directing two free Dairy Box distributions with the assistance of First Lutheran Church and Delaware County Pay-It-Forward,” said Lisa Guetzko, Foundation board member. Over 1,000 free Dairy Boxes were distributed throughout Delaware County, providing families with two gallons of white milk, two pints of flavored milk, sour cream, cream cheese, French onion dip and cottage cheese. “We thank Prairie Farms for making this event possible through its partnership with the USDA Farming to Families initiative.”

The Fueling Farmers Program, made possible by Delaware County Pay-It-Forward, Three Rivers FS and the Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, enabled Delaware County to show appreciation for its farmers through gift cards for fuel. In just one week, residents nominated 187 farmers and 33 received $100 cards.  

To give online to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit Checks made out to Foundation for the Future of Delaware County COVID-19 Relief Fund may be dropped off at F&M Bank in Manchester, GNB Bank in Manchester and Community Savings Bank in Manchester, Earlville, and Edgewood. Checks also can be mailed to FFDC, 200 E. Main St., Manchester, Iowa 52057-410. 

To apply for a grant for your nonprofit, email for a grant application. To contact Delaware County Pay-It-Forward, call 563-447-0099 or follow Delaware County Pay-It-Forward 2020 - COVID 19 on Facebook to learn more about helping meet needs in Delaware County.