A flood of generosity: Grace Lutheran Church

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Grace Lutheran Church in Davenport hosts an annual garden party to raise funds for the church’s grounds, and to invest in nearby neighborhoods. This year, the party’s hosts broadened the impact of the dollars they raised. They decided to help fellow community members affected by the historic, record-setting flooding of the Mississippi River earlier this year.

“It was simple—we just wanted to help people who have real needs,” said Ken Krumwiede, chair of the garden party committee. “It wasn’t a hard decision to make.”

The church donated a portion of the proceeds from its 5th annual event to the Quad Cities Disaster Recovery Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation. The fund continues to accept donations that are then granted out to help individuals, businesses, and nonprofits continuing to recover from the disaster.

For Krumwiede, the local, long-term, and collective effort to help flood-affected Quad Citizens was vital to contributing to the Disaster Recovery Fund. “We know that there are different types of relief,” he said. “But we also know that there’s a gap in what state or federal funding provides—that it doesn’t pay for everything.”

Bringing the church’s contribution to the Quad Cities Community Foundation made sense, he said, as they provide an umbrella of support to multiple agencies and nonprofits in the community. The church’s garden party committee members felt comfortable donating directly to the Community Foundation because of previous experiences working with their staff.

“Our intent with the event each year is to help our neighbors. In the past, that has been people and groups in our immediate neighborhood,” Krumwiede said. “It’s a fun day, and for a good cause. People are generous—it almost puts me in tears because people are just so awesome. It makes me feel good.” 

Because people give to the church, which then turns around and gives it to others, they are part of a cycle of giving, he added. The flood relief efforts that continue still today are a reminder of how important being a good neighbor is. “This disaster has strengthened not only the community but those of us inside the church,” he said. “The relief efforts have empowered us to build relationships in our church, in our neighborhoods, and our community. There are a lot of people willing to help.”

Ted Stephens III