Water rises and we move

By Sherry Ristau / President & CEO


It is no secret that the mighty Mississippi River rose to historic levels earlier this month. Torrential rains have returned this week, the barriers are back up, and the river is again out of its banks.
Yet, as homes, businesses and nonprofits are challenged, our community continues to act together to help people, homes and buildings.
All of us at the Quad Cities Community Foundation are heartened on a daily basis by the swift action of neighbors, the generosity of strangers and the kindness of donors. At the Community Foundation, we activated our Quad Cities Disaster Recovery Fundimmediately, which was created in 2016 for times just like these.

The fund ensures that organizations serving people impacted by disasters—natural or man-made—can continue their work in the months and years ahead. We will deploy those funds based on priorities identified by the Long Term Recovery Committee of the Quad Cities COAD, organizations on the ground helping people and seeing where existing resources don’t meet the needs.
We have already witnessed unprecedented support. To date, more than $100,000 has been raised for the fund with organizations and individuals alike heeding the call for help. That is an impressive number, and we also know that it will take more resources to help organizations and individuals stay positive and recover.
Yes, we are very much still in fundraising mode—welcoming the contributions of hundreds and hundreds of generous people and businesses, and working with organizations holding donation drives during their events. Organizations like the Quad City Osteopathic Foundation, Ascentra Credit Union Foundation, Gray Television and our very own board of directors have made $10,000 gifts each. MidAmerican Energy has committed $25,000. And more is still needed.
We all know that recovery from a disaster can take months, sometimes years. At the Community Foundation, we work to be our region’s trusted partner in community philanthropy. Today, I remind you that we are not going anywhere. We will be here long after the waters recede, basements are cleaned, and the mud is power-washed away. We are in this for the long haul and we ask you to join us in that effort.
Our response to this disaster is telling of the foresight and strength of our donors, who have given generously and quickly. It’s also a reminder that with strong endowments and partnerships established before this disaster, our community was prepared. That preparedness will change the trajectory of what the next months and years will look like, up and down both sides of the Mississippi River.
Together with you, we are hopeful. We are resilient. And we will get through this, making the Quad Cities—through our individual and collective ways—even more better and beautiful.
Thank you for being an important partner in this recovery work.

Sherry Ristau