Profiles of Impact: The Immigrant Experience, from Germany to Davenport

In the mid-to-late 1800s millions of German citizens left their homeland for America. Scott County, Iowa, where the first passenger railroad crossed the Mississippi River, was the "Ellis Island" of the Midwest for many of these immigrants. Upon arrival, thousands stayed in the Standard Hotel, built in the 1860s and located on West 2nd and Gaines Streets in
downtown Davenport.

Today, nearly 15,000 vehicles cross the Centennial Bridge from Illinois into Davenport every day at that same intersection. Greeting them at the base of the bridge is the beautifully restored hotel, which is now home to the German American Heritage Center (GAHC). Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this local treasure documents and celebrates the German immigrant experience--an integral part of the history and fabric of life in this region and in the nation.

The GAHC houses interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, and programs that educate and entertain, all while preserving German heritage for future generations. As an Endowment Partner of the Community Foundation, the GAHC is building a permanent source of support for its work by growing its Endowment. The Community Foundation manages the Center's Endowment, and helps individuals who are interested in establishing Funds to benefit the Center.

"Now that the building preservation is complete, priorities have shifted to exhibits, programming, and maintenance," said Janet Brown-Lowe, Executive Director at the GAHC. "We know that having a strong endowment helps to ensure that the Center is here for future generations to learn from and enjoy."

GAHC was one of the first Endowment Partners to earn the 2012 Endowment Challenge Match offered by the Community Foundation's Board of Directors.

"The Endowment Challenge Match has not only benefited our Endowment, but has helped to revitalize all levels of giving," said Ms. Brown-Lowe. "The Community Foundation's Challenge encouraged new donors and some of our current donors to give just a bit more to help us make the Challenge Match."

To learn more about the GAHC visit or visit our Nonprofit Partners section to learn how your nonprofit can work with the Community Foundation.

Melanie JonesDonors