2017 Recipients

Congratulations to our 2017 Rise Up Iowa grant recipients. The following projects and programs were awarded funding. Check back for more details on these projects and volunteer opportunities throughout the next 12 months.


Iowa Homeless Youth Centers Rooftop Gardens - $25,000


Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) Rooftop Gardens

The #1 goal of Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) Rooftop Gardens is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income and homeless transition-age youth by providing guided work experience and a livable wage. To accomplish this goal, IHYC is building a hydroponic farm and urban garden on the roof of its Youth Opportunity Center in downtown Des Moines. This program will allow 12 youth apprentices — annually — to be paid $12 per hour, 30 hours a week, to learn job skills while they operate the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution of fresh leafy greens in our community. The Rise Up Iowa funding will be used to purchase a new, refrigerated van. This vehicle is crucial to the success of the program because it will allow the apprentices to safely distribute the produce while retaining the highest quality possible.
To learn more about Iowa Homeless Youth Centers visit: www.youthstandingstrong.org


Bidwell Riverside Center’s Distribution Center - $18,500


Bidwell Riverside Center’s Distribution Center

Bidwell Riverside Center (BRC) has been providing services to those in need in the Des Moines area since 1893. For the past 120 years, BRC has remained committed to helping others in need to help improve their lives. This distribution center is the largest food pantry in Central Iowa, serving over 15,500 members of the community last year. This pantry provides a food supply meant to sustain a family for a three-day period and the food supply is received once per calendar month. Rise Up Iowa funding will go toward the purchase of emergency food which can be accessed by families every four days. This costs the center $250 per month.
To learn more about Bidwell Riverside Center’s Distribution Center visit: www.bidwellriverside.org


Rural Iowa Teens Rise Up - $15,000


Rural Iowa Teens Rise Up

The Bricker-Price Block Project Teen Center is located in Earlham, Iowa. It is housed in the historic Bricker-Price Block building in the heart of this rural community. There is a dedicated section of this renovated facility that will be a safe gathering space designed, governed and occupied by teens. The community recognized a need for specialized programming and a space tailored to the unique needs of adolescents. Many towns have YMCA’s and/or community centers, but Earlham does not. The founders of this initiative felt it was critical to the pull teens out of their bedrooms and basements to engage with the world outside of their screens and learn critical skills they will need as adults. The center is set to open in the first quarter of 2018. Once the doors are open, they expect to routinely draw teens from a 20-mile radius including Madison, Dallas, Guthrie and Adair counties. Rise Up Iowa funding will be used to support research, development and implementation of a core program to promote health and wellness for rural Central Iowa youth.
To learn more about this project visit: www.bidwellriverside.org


Hawthorne Hill’s New Directions Shelter - $25,000


Hawthorne Hill’s New Directions Shelter

Since 1990, this shelter has provided free, temporary, emergency shelter and services for homeless parents and their children. Their mission is to provide stability and support when families need it most — with no judgment or criticism. The staff help families to rebuild their lives and reach self-sufficiency. The Rise Up Iowa funding will be used to cover costs for families staying in the shelter. This includes food, personal hygiene items, health products, cleaning products, bus tokens, postage, bedding and towels — as well as help with fuel and vehicle costs.
To learn more about Hawthorn Hill’s New Directions Shelter visit: www.hawthorn-hill.org


2016 Recipients

Congratulations to our 2016 Rise Up Iowa grant recipients. The following programs and projects were awarded funding.

Watch the videos to hear their stories.


Rise Up North Des Moines - $20,000



Metro West Mentoring Program - $5,000



Waukee Community Closet - $25,000



School Pantry Program - $10,000



Help Homeless People Survive & Improve Their Health - $25,000



Safe & Healthy Homes - $15,000