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Iowa DD Council Makes a Difference Through COVID-19 Relief Fund

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa, (May 2020) – The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council awarded COVID-19 Relief Fund Grants to 30 organizations in Iowa. Grants are intended to fill gaps in services and supports that people with developmental disabilities and their families experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding initiative provides an opportunity for innovative methods of support. It has improved the quality of life for Iowans living with developmental disabilities through the gift of indoor and outdoor activities during this time of social isolation and distancing.


Amy Wallman, the co-founder of Hope Agency of Des Moines, says, “This grant opportunity has not only helped our participants in having something to look forward to, but it has helped in supporting our valuable direct support professionals in staying as hopeful as possible during this difficult time.”


Through the support of the COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant award, the Hope Agency of Des Moines was able to purchase and donate 10 painting kits, five model car kits, 10 puzzles, gardening supplies, adult coloring books and various art supplies for crafting. Wallman quotes a happy recipient of a horseshoe game, who said, “This is exactly what I needed!”


Many participants of the 43 North Iowa and NIVC Services have been dramatically impacted by the pandemic and left vulnerable. Individuals are more isolated and anxious due to social distancing, employment layoffs, visitor and home restrictions and the suspension of day services such as JobLink Group Activities, Group Supported Employment and Provoc.


Sherry Becker, executive director of 43 North Iowa and NIVC Services, says, "I cannot remember receiving a grant of any size that was more exciting for all of us than the Iowa DD Council COVID-19 Relief Fund award! It came when we needed it most. This grant allowed us to purchase items that have made a real difference in the quality of life for the people we serve!"


Through the COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant, Becker’s team successfully purchased and donated seven Amazon Fire TV Sticks, two Netflix subscriptions and various books, puzzles, boardgames, yard games, stationery and craft supplies.


Brooke Lovelace, executive director of the Iowa DD Council, says “The Council is so appreciative of the incredible commitment of Iowa’s direct care providers, the direct care professionals and other organizations that have gone to the extreme to support our Iowans with disabilities during this time. The Council felt the need to help, even if in just a small way, any way we could.”


Iowans living with developmental disabilities have experienced a severe loss of support due the COVID-19 pandemic. This unique grant opportunity has replenished personal productivity and provided the assurance that no one is alone or forgotten. The purpose of this funding initiative is to respond to emerging needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to reduce anxiety and isolation. It also offers support to direct care staff to be able to continue their work under these circumstances so the agency operations continue to provide the supports they need to the people they serve. Additionally, grants ensure people can continue to engage with their peers during this period of social isolation and distancing.


For more information, visit, or contact the DD Council at 866-432-2846.