THANK YOU to our team & community partners

As we near the end of 2021, we want to express our sincere thank you to our team of employees, donors, and community partners who have made this challenging year possible. Your dedication to our services and community has impacted tens of thousands of individuals in crisis across Iowa this year.

Foundation 2 team: ‘Stepped up in incredible ways’

Despite COVID and all the challenges the last year has brought, our team at Foundation 2 has stepped up in incredible ways and continues to be transformative in the lives of others. Each of our programs has pushed through the adversity to help our agency show up for those in crisis.

 The Independent Living Program became Fostering Futures

The Independent Living Program for young people aging out of foster care expanded and was renamed Fostering Futures. The new name better describes how the program helps young people who have aged out of foster care build and maintain stability in areas including housing, transportation, and education.

Additional community and education supports were added, including the Fostering Higher Education program, which connects young people with resources and mentors to encourage post-secondary education and training options. The new Group Violence Intervention model (funded through the SET Fund) works to reduce community violence and high-risk behaviors that can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system.

The Crisis Center saw record-breaking numbers

The crisis center experienced record-breaking contact volumes with more than 5,500 contacts (phone, text, and chat) per month in March, April, and May. This is the highest number of contacts per month in the agency’s history.

We are incredibly grateful that we have a strong, resilient, and brave team that works around the clock to serve others. Thank you for your dedication, knowledge, and passion for helping those in crisis.

Community efforts: Filling gaps for those in crisis

We could not serve thousands of Iowans without the multi-faceted support of our communities. From hundreds of volunteer hours to community advocacy and partnership, we are greatly appreciative of everyone who supported our mission in 2021. Thank you.

Volunteers

Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours with us in the last year. Volunteers helped us clean up landscape beds, till and later winterize the emergency youth shelter garden, rake and remove debris, empty and organize a basement, and more. Your work allows us to continue to focus on mission-based work while maintaining our spaces. Thank you for your time and energy!

Donors

We sincerely appreciate all of our donors! Monetary and in-kind donations help ensure our high-quality programming can continue and fill gaps in support for the individuals we serve.

We launched the “Small Things, Big Impact” fund, which provides support for basic needs that are not traditionally covered by other programs for young people in Fostering Futures, the Foundation 2 program for young people aging out of foster care. This fund was inspired by the Iowa Giving Crew’s initial donation in fall 2020.

During November 2021, community partners donated more than $10,000 in monetary and in-kind donations for young people in Fostering Futures. This project was a partnership with the Junior League of Cedar Rapids and will help provide dozens of young people per year with apartment basics as they start out on their own in their first places.

Advocacy

We had the honor of partnering with many businesses and agencies across Iowa this year to share about mental health, suicide prevention and intervention, and available services with hundreds of employees and volunteers.

In September (Suicide Prevention Awareness Month), we partnered with Clockhouse Brewing Company in Cedar Rapids to release “It’s OK IPA,” a special run IPA with Foundation 2 information on the can. Our hope is that the partnership helped start positive, meaningful conversations about mental health in a casual environment.

In November, we partnered with the Mount Vernon and Marion fire stations to host a “Mental Health Mustaches” social media campaign. Firefighters grew “conversation starter” mustaches and shared about mental health and Foundation 2 services in person and on social media. We love seeing our community members’ creativity and passion for helping others!

We All Play a Part

As we look into 2022, we look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow and rise to meet the challenges and needs of our communities. The mental health fall out of the coronavirus pandemic will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future, and we intend to continue to rise to those everchanging challenges.

We extend an invitation to join us in these efforts. We ALL have the ability and responsibility to be advocates for mental health and wellness. How we talk (or don’t talk) about mental health shapes opinions, perceptions, and experiences for ourselves, our friends and family, co-workers, and strangers.

You can:

  1. Start a conversation. Simply asking someone “How are you doing?” can start a meaningful conversation about mental health. Practice active listening, don’t compare and ask what you can do. If you or someone you know needs professional support, know who to contact. The Foundation 2 crisis line is available 24/7 at 319-362-2174.
  2. Think about the words you use. Media and preconceived notions can perpetuate negative ideas about individuals with mental health concerns. Avoid using stigmatizing phrases like “I’m so OCD,” “My ex is such a psycho,” and “The weather is so bipolar today.” These negative connotations or misconceptions can perpetuate stigma and make individuals less likely to talk about issues or seek support.
  3. Learn more. There is a plethora of available information about mental health and wellness, how to care for yourself and others, and where and when to find support. Having a good understanding of mental wellness and mental health will help you challenge misconceptions and build a good foundation for supporting yourself and others in your life. If you would like additional training on mental health or suicide prevention, we offer various trainings.

Thank you for coming alongside us in so many different ways during 2021; we look forward to seeing how we can continue to grow and serve our communities in the new year. Together, we can be a trusted support when life gets tough for all people, any time, every time. Thank you.

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