Iowa City Catholic Worker Year Two Fundraiser
$1,145 raised
23% of $5k goal
25 contributors
2 Years running

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ - Matthew 25:35-37.

Dear friends and workers,

May 1, 2017 is the one year anniversary of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House and the 84th anniversary of the founding of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker newspaper and movement.

We are excited to announce that we have met all of our Year One Goals and wanted to thank you for all your prayers and support - and to ask you for your renewed commitment . Thanks to your generosity, we have:

  • Provided transitional housing for more than 50 homeless people (mostly women and children) since August 1, a rate of about five new guests per month, with an average stay of 30 days each.

  • Started a new “mass feeding” program on the weekends that helped close a critical gap in services to the poor. We now feed more than two dozen people every weekend.

  • Formed a community land trust and a five member advisory board.

  • Organized a monthly Mass liturgy and bi-weekly bible study and book club meetings.

  • Painted a public art mural with modern interpretations of classic Catholic imagery.

  • Cultivated key relationships with partnering social service organizations.

  • Sent out weekly email updates to a growing list of more than 400 supporters.

  • Earned significant media coverage in local newspapers and television stations.

Thank you so much! The Iowa City Catholic Worker House is your house, and our “beloved community” is your community. Your prayers, gifts, labor, and in-kind donations mean a lot.

Last year, we raised nearly $100,000 from parishes, individuals, and local businesses. Forty thousand was spent on our down payment, $25,000 on operating expenses (mortgage, insurance, taxes, utilities, etc), and $25,000 on repairs and renovations. We also maintained a small discretionary fund and will end our fiscal year April 30 with a small but healthy surplus.

We accomplished all of this without any paid staff. Every penny we raised went directly into serving the poor instead of on salaries, wages, or administrative costs. The competitive advantage of the Catholic Worker model is we can do more with less.

Thanks to you, the Iowa City Catholic Worker House is now a permanent fixture of the local landscape - and we plan to expand our ministry this year. In Year Two, we aim to:

  • Build “Free Little Food Pantries” at our house and across the city, so people can have access to food and toiletries 24/7.

  • Start-up a weekly “Free Farmers Market” and fresh produce give a way.

  • Develop Free Haircut and Foot Care Clinic programs.

  • Explore the feasibility of starting a daily Free Breakfast Program.

  • Begin the process of acquiring a second house so we can double the size of our community, the number of meals we serve, guest beds we offer, and people we help.

In order to meet these goals, we need to double last year’s fundraising benchmarks. We are counting on you to help us do it. We want to raise $250,000 this year so we can:

  • Pay mortgage, insurance, taxes, and utilities for a year - $25,000.

  • Install a fire escape in the attic to make it habitable - $15,000.

  • Add two extra bathrooms for more comfort and convenience for our guests - $20,000.

  • Repaint the outside of the house - $5,000 (supplies only, paid labor would add $10k).

  • Replace our boiler for energy efficiency and to save money on heating costs - $8,000.

  • Add a second water heater, so it’s easier to shower and do laundry - $2,000.

  • Pay off our mortgage. We currently owe the bank $165,000 on our house of hospitality, and spend almost $500 a month on interest payments alone. The sooner we pay off our first house, the more money we will save, and the quicker we can buy a second house to double the size and scope of our ministry.

Our house has a number of other needs and upgrades. Many of our windows need to be replaced. The electrical system needs to be updated, as well as our kitchen and laundry appliances. We are budgeting an additional $25,000 for all of these items.

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. We couldn’t do these good works without you. Please dig deep and give generously this year.

Gifts are payable to:

Iowa City Catholic Worker

PO Box 3324

Iowa City, IA  52244.

Yours in Christ and service to the poor,

Emily and David

***The Iowa City Catholic Worker Urban and Rural Land Trust is the official, IRS-recognized legal entity of our community. The trust owns the bank account, all donations and assets, and will eventually own our home(s). However, the trust is not a 501(c)3 and gifts are not tax deductible. We believe this is a more pure form of giving, in line with Dorothy Day’s original intentions***

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