From October through March, Waterloo Black Hawks supporters and Cedar Valley sports fans at-large were asked to make donations each month to different worthy causes through the $16.50 Campaign, presented by Slumberland Furniture, the Waterloo Black Hawks, and 1650, The Fan, KCNZ.
As the region now deals with Iowa’s highest caseload related to the coronavirus, the $16.50 Campaign is back during the month of May to help support three organizations hard at work during the pandemic: the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, The Salvation Army of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, and the Cedar Bend Humane Society.
“Each of these charities was featured during the season, but we want to use this opportunity to bring them all back to the forefront as they each do their own part during the current situation,” said Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Greene. “In hockey, and in other sports, adverse circumstances can bring out the best in athletes; this is an opportunity for each one of us to rise to the occasion and be at our best during a time when it is really needed.”
Throughout the winter, the goal of the $16.50 Campaign was for 100 people to each contribute $16.50 to the designated cause and generate an impactful collective gift of $1,650. During the month ahead, The Fan, the Hawks, and Slumberland Furniture encourage you to pick any of the three organizations (or all three) for a modest donation.
Find out more about current circumstances for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, The Salvation Army of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, and the Cedar Bend Humane Society in an update from each group below.
Northeast Iowa Food Bank – As unemployment continues to skyrocket across Iowa and COVID-19 begins to penetrate our communities, we have seen an increase of over 20% in need for our hunger relief efforts. While the need for food assistance rises, we are faced with the challenge of sourcing food in a climate where depleted store shelves are now a normal occurrence, and we can no longer largely rely on donations as the primary way we acquire food. We are looking at different avenues of obtaining food, like purchasing it and traveling greater distances to obtain supply; that comes with a significant cost increase. Lastly, while costs to maintain operations continue to increase, the volunteerism that supports the majority of our operation has seen a sharp decline on the heels of social distancing guidelines. With more work to do, less help to do it, and an increase in costs to get that work done, we continue to rely on the community’s support to help us keep feeding northeast Iowans during this difficult time.
The Salvation Army of Waterloo/Cedar Falls – The Salvation Army of Waterloo/Cedar Falls is working hard to support the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are all above-and-beyond the usual scope and pace of those we serve year-round in our social services.
We have stepped up our local food assistance operations from two days to four days a week. Sack lunches are available from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Monday and Saturday. Hot meals are provided on Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. There has also been an increase in perishable goods pantry distribution on Tuesday and Thursday. The number of people now needing assistance is growing beyond that which we traditionally serve.
With the spike in services, there are many ways that the community can help us continue to provide hope and serve the community during these troubling times. Currently we are also in need of personal hygiene items and bed pillows for our two housing shelters.
Captain Shannon Thies, Commanding Officer, added, “Our focus will be on serving the long-term basic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors in the community.”
Cedar Bend Humane Society – Cedar Bend Humane Society is still continuing with our commitment to assist our community by taking in dozens of stray, sick, and homeless animals. With many animals coming in each day, but minimal numbers going out and funding dwindling, we fear for the future of the lives that we are trying tirelessly to save. Without revenue from adoptions and general services, and as donations from the community slow dramatically, we simply do not have the resources to support the facilities and staffing. These funding sources are what provide us with a majority of our vaccinations and medical care needed for sick and injured animals, and we are now struggling to offer that care.
About Slumberland Furniture – Located at 6607 University Avenue in Cedar Falls, Slumberland Furniture provides the Cedar Valley’s finest selection of living room, bedroom, and home décor, chosen for a combination of style, quality, and value. Slumberland Furniture first opened in the Cedar Valley 50 years ago, in 1969, and has been at their current 41,000 square foot location since 2017. Slumberland has partnered with the Black Hawks on a charitable effort for each of the last 13 seasons.
About 1650, The Fan/Coloff Media – 1650, The Fan, and its three Cedar Falls-based sister stations are part of Coloff Media, which includes a dozen community stations throughout Iowa. The Cedar Falls cluster has won five Crystal Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters, signifying the group’s year-round commitment to community service. All Black Hawks regular season games, home-and-away, can be heard on 1650, The Fan.