“I’m a full-time mom, I work full time, and I go to school full time,” says Deanna Roberson.
With such a full plate, Deanna still manages to get things done: Support her two sons, Marcus and Kyri, and make time for both her gift basket business, Deanna’s Unique Creations, and her Dubuque community. With so many blessings in her life, she says, she makes giving back a priority. In connecting with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and its Women's Giving Circle, she has found a group of people who share her values and vision.
The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
Deanna connected with the Community Foundation through Donna Loewen, who today serves as coordinator of the Foundation’s Dubuque College Access Network (DCAN). The two friends met while Marcus attended Dubuque Senior High School and Donna was a principal in the district.
As Marcus made his way through school, Deanna and Donna re-connected and developed a great friendship. In the meantime, Donna transitioned to her DCAN role, working with DCAN partners like the Dubuque Community School District to help more students enroll in post-secondary education and training.
Marcus, a DCAN participant, has now graduated from Senior High School and will attend the University of Dubuque in fall 2020 as a business major and football player.
“It’s wonderful for both of us, and it has given my heart a great abundance of joy on so many levels,” Deanna says. “I am proud of him and myself for always making the time to be there for my son, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. At the end of the day, that's my ultimate job as a mom.”
Women Giving Back — Together
Today, Deanna is involved with the Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle, a group of women from diverse backgrounds who support women and children in need through philanthropy.
For Deanna, her involvement builds on her longstanding passion for giving back. In 2016, she started her own group for women to support their community through giving, and each year, they have raised funds to buy food, supplies and other goods to help a specific Dubuque family or organization.
Through the Women’s Giving Circle, Deanna is able to make an impact in a similar way by being part of a group that researches community needs and makes grants to organizations that have a deep impact.
“I love connecting with women from a lot of different backgrounds who help others and share my vision for the community," Deanna says.
Building a strong future
Deanna is just one of many people working together to create a Dubuque region where all people can thrive. Through her education at Northeast Iowa Community College, she is working to ensure Deanna's Unique Creations is a strong business that contributes to her community's economy. More importantly, as a mom, Deanna is ensuring that her two "greatest blessings," Marcus and Kyri, continue on a path to success.
And as a Community Foundation partner, she is part of a network of generous people pooling their resources to strengthen Dubuque for future generations.