Helping in Times of Need – What Can You Do?

Here at the Great Outdoors Foundation, we believe in collaboration, community, and partnership. With many of our community members hurting due to job loss, sickness, fear, the uncertainty,, we want to provide you with ways to be informed and if you’re in a position to, ways to help.

Disaster Relief Community Fund

Our friends over at the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Iowa have activated the Disaster Community Relief Fund (DRF). The DRF was created in partnership with disaster response and philanthropic organizations in Greater Des Moines to develop a collective strategy for charitable giving during times of disaster. With our community facing the effects of COVID-19, the Community Foundation’s DRF provides an opportunity for the public to give with the reassurance their donations will be used quickly to move resources where they area needed most and to adapt to evolving needs. To learn more and for ways you can give, click here.

Food Bank of Iowa: COVID-19 Relief

The Food Bank of Iowa has initiated their COVID-19 Relief program. Unschooled children are not able to get 2-3 meals that are provided daily at school and university students have been displaced.  Many people are losing hours which converts to food on the table. Seniors are now home bound and small businesses and restaurants are closing. The Food Bank of Iowa has assembled Emergency Food Packs with approximately 20 pounds of shelf-stable items to make distribution for their partners easier, faster and safer. $1 will provide up to 4 meals of food to insecure Iowans. To find out more about this program, and how you can donate, click here.

Support Local

The Greater Des Moines Partnership and Catch Des Moines have teamed up on a social media campaign, DSM Local Challenge.  Now, more than ever, small businesses need your support. The rules are simple: post a photo to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter showing how you supported local and challenge friends to do the same utilizing the hashtag #DSMLocalChallenge. For more information, or to see the new BINGO card challenge, click here or here.


The Greater Des Moines Partnership is encouraging social media users to help cultivate a feeling of strength and unity for our residents, including our healthcare workers and small businesses. Utilize the hashtag #DSMstrong across your social media channels.

United Way 211

United Way of Central Iowa’s 211 service is now working with the Iowa Department of Public Heath to act as a statewide hotline for general information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Help spread the word on social media about 211. For more information, click here.

Des Good News

Catch Des Moines recognized that we need good news now, more than ever. By clicking here, you will see a round up of inspirational, positive news stories. Read how Central Iowans, groups and organizations are supporting one another and how you can get involved too.

COVID-19 General Advice

To stay up to date about everything COVID-19 in Iowa from a trusted source, click here.

Get Outside

In times like these, we find it’s important to get outside to engage in nature. Research has shown that engaging in nature will help your mental well-being. Playground equipment is closed, but trails, sidewalks, driveways are not. Continue to practice safe social distancing and follow the CDC guidelines.  In the upcoming weeks, we will be working alongside Polk County Conservation to show how you can engage in nature and get your family outside and remember, #naturesconstant.

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