Giving back through the Dyersville Area Community Foundation

By Jeanne Coppola, board member emeritus

Having just retired from the Dyersville Area Community Foundation board, I have been contemplating time spent over the years being a part of a group of people who have a passion for community as well as volunteerism.  

I joined the Community Foundation in its infancy, because I was approached by several people who saw a need for a 501(c)3 organization to help make donations to cover unexpected expenses brought on by illnesses or disasters. Over the years, the Foundation has grown in its mission to strengthen our community, improve quality of life and ensure a strong future for our area. 

Our first challenge was a big one: a lack of childcare in the area. Once that need was identified, a child care center was our goal and Kid Project was the result. The Foundation is very proud of the continued success of Kid Project!

I served on the board for several years while teaching and then moved on to other things. After retiring I was approached again and rejoined the board, which gave me a chance to continue to promote things that will help our children. In recent years, I have been on a sub-committee that oversees Kid Project and works with the director to keep things running smoothly. 

I have helped with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR), an initiative facilitated by the Foundation that addresses school readiness, attendance, and summer learning loss by removingg barriers to learning and childhood wellbeing. Giving parents and children readiness for school activities has been very rewarding! Working with people who have a passion for education and children has allowed me to continue to be engaged with education outside of the classroom.

As a result of my involvement with the Foundation, I established the Jeanne M. Coppola Endowment for Education to help benefit education in the future. The fund helps teachers meet immediate needs they see in their classrooms daily: books for students who don’t have many at home, an alarm clock for a child who gets ready for school on their own in the morning, or lunch money for someone whose parents can’t cover the cost of school meals.

I have always believed in volunteerism, and serving the Dyersville Area Community Foundation as a board member has been a great way for me to give back to a community that I love. The Foundation provides many avenues for giving back, and I encourage others to get involved.