Jackson County Disaster Recovery Fund provides grants to six local nonprofits

Jackson County, IA — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Foundation of Jackson County is providing help where it’s most needed. 

On March 30, the Foundation board activated the Jackson County Disaster Recovery Fund, which provides an opportunity for the public to give with the reassurance their donations will be used to quickly move resources to where they are most urgently needed in their own community, particularly toward needs not being met by existing nonprofit, local, state and federal programs.

The Community Foundation of Jackson County, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, made an immediate $10,000 gift to start the fund. Thanks to the generosity of many people and organizations, over $41,000 has been raised. Bellevue native Mark Ernst, who now lives in Texas, made a $10,000 gift to the fund.

“In times like these it’s especially apparent that we’re all in it together. I’m grateful to be in a position to give back to a community that helped shape me and is special because of the ways people look out for one another,” he said. “Giving through the Community Foundation, with their deep community engagement, gives me confidence that these funds will address the most urgent needs. I hope that the Disaster Recovery Fund can not only help make a difference in these difficult times, but also serve as a model for what can be done collectively in the future.”

Six grants have already been awarded for projects including expanding food distribution and emergency funding programs, implementing social distancing practices at a daycare, and supporting summer learning at home. 

  • 4-H To-Go Summer Bags for Youth - $2,500
  • Bellevue Bread Basket - $1,400
  • Little Shepherd Preschool and Day Care - $463.17
  • Maquoketa United Church of Christ - $2,500
  • Maquoketa Farmers Market - $2,500
  • Preston Manna Center - $2,500

“Though we may feel isolated during these uncertain times, our community’s generosity shines as a steadfast reminder that we can still work together,” said John Hoff, Foundation board president. “We thank everyone who has made a gift, helping ensure the vulnerable are cared for and our community is in the best possible position to endure this crisis — and move forward after it has passed.”

Community foundations often serve as philanthropic centers for disaster recovery because of their unique ability to bring together representatives of many different areas—including service providers, community-based organizations, businesses, government —as well as their capacity to distribute funds from donors. Disaster preparedness is just one of the many ways that community foundations take the long view for their communities. 

Click here to give online to the fund. Checks made out to Jackson County Disaster Recovery Fund may be dropped off at the Maquoketa State Bank walk-up teller window (north entrance of main bank) or drive-through teller window at the MSB West Side Office location. They also can be mailed to the Community Foundation of Jackson County, P.O. Box 645, Maquoketa, Iowa 52060.

The Foundation board is working with a grant committee that includes representation from the Maquoketa Ministerial Association, Human Service Agencies and the Community Foundation of Jackson County to make awards that first address economic needs and the health impact on vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19-related closures and other impacts of the outbreak. The fund will direct dollars out to those organizations on the front lines of serving vulnerable families.

To apply for a grant, visit dbqfoundation.org/jacksondrf or contact Mary Jo Gothard at 563.588.2700 or maryjo@dbqfoundation.org.