"To provide diverse support services for all members of the Southeast Polk community to help individuals become safer, healthier and self-sufficient."
- Beautiful Bilingual Books
The Read To Me Foundation (www.readtomefoundation.org), based in Des Moines, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to distribute free, new, hardover bilingual (English/Spanish) children's books. Central Place was selected to receive 200 new books, to be distributed to those who participate in our programs. The books were presented by Dondino Melchiorre, foundation president, and Donna Gummelt, co-founder and director. Dondino's interest in children's literacy stems from his experience of moving to the United States from Italy as a child, and struggling to learn the language. The titles included, The Cookie Story (Cuent de Galletas), My Sunshine Friend (Una Amistad Brillante), and Is Santa Color Blind?, with two of the books including a musical CD containing songs by Dondino.
- School Supply Giveaway
Kit McDowell, Altoona Lion's Club, presented Central Place with a donation of $600, used to offset purchases for the 16th annual School Supply Giveaway. In addition, Cargill Inc. provided $4,000 to support the School Supply Giveaway, and its employees also volunteered during preparation and distribution for the program. Although local families are still picking up supplies, so far approximately 550 students have received assistance with school supplies. This is the first year families have had to meet income guidelines in order to receive assistance.
- New Shoes for You!
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, and the local Payless Shoes store, Southeast Polk children whose families met income guidelines were also eligible to receive assistance with a new pair of tennis shoes for physical education class. The anonymous donor underwrote most of the expenses of the program, which has, at initial estimates, served approximately 420 children. Additional community members provided cash donations, which allowed Central Place to purchase the shoes.