Category Archives: Flood

Flood Bright Spot: Dumpster Diving and a Temporary Home

Wednesday morning at the church started with dumpster-diving to find a kid’s lost clothes. Not a normal activity. Of course it was not a normal week because we were in the middle of the Flood of 2016. Our response as a church was to partner with the American Red Cross as a shelter.

As the flood waters crested we celebrated a flood of generosity. People donated clothes, provided rides, did laundry, made food, played with kids, and loved our community. The Red Cross provided volunteers from around the country. Our volunteers came from our own neighborhoods.

Richard spent the week living in our church building. He is a chef. He said, “On Friday, the water was coming. I needed a place. I made plans to come to the shelter.”

Richard moved in on Saturday. The Red Cross provided a cot and food. People donated pillows. When the buses stopped running, we provided a rides. Others spent time chatting with Richard to offer encouragement.
“I see the hand of God in this,” Richard explained, “The church responded as described in the Bible. When you did see a need, you did something about it.” He is deeply grateful that he had a place to go and people who cared. “Watching people come short-circuited me. Car, after car, after car arrived to make a donation.”

Because of the generosity, compassion, and love of our community, Richard’s experience at the shelter was very good. He was “pleased and impressed” in a situation generated by a natural disaster.

Cedar Hills continues to be the home to about 70-80 residents displaced by the Flood 2016 evacuations.  Some families have had a chance to go home while others are just now leaving hotel rooms and just joining us today.


AN update from Cedar Hills,
2:00pm, THURSday Sept 29

We have been flooded with donations from the community! Many have been contacting the office via phone and Facebook asking how they can help at this Red Cross location. Here’s what we know (and are updating this list regularly):

Current Needs

  1. *FULFILLED* Men’s shirts and pants, size 32×34 and large and XL shirts.  We have two new guests who just joined us after staying in a hotel and literally came with nothing.  We’d love to help them out.  Almost all the clothes we’ve received are women’s and children’s sizes.
  2. *FULFILLED.   Thank you for the great response on this! As of this afternoon, every driver had been paired up with a need! If you are willing to transport our guests to and from work, appointments, and other needs, please call the church and give a time frame and the number of people you are able to transport.  As needs arise, we will match a guest with you and let you know. We expect this need to increase as more guests move in. Call the office 319-396-6608.
  3. *FULFILLED* Volunteers – Wed at 9am: Wednesday morning we will be sorting all the supplies and donations that have come.  Come help out! This will help us be much more efficient in getting the right supplies to the right people.
  4. *UPDATED*Activities for kids.   The biggest need is in the evenings after supper, 6:30pm.  Can you come read a book? Bring a craft?  Just come and play. It’s hard to be stuck in a building all day.  The weather is nice and we have a large grassy area perfect for sports like kickball, etc.  Come and check in the office and let us know you’re here.
  5. *FULFILLED* Semi-Trailer.  We were put in contact with CRST and currently have a trailer for 10 days.  We’re following up on another possible lead for month-long storage. With the sheer volume of donations, we anticipate working with different community organizations and helping to distribute to those in need well beyond this week. As major supplies continue to arrive, we need space to store them. This was highly effective during the flood of 2008 during the long post-flood recovery months.
  6. *FULFILLED* Feminine hygiene products.   We won’t need a ton, but some more on hand would be great. Red Cross Health services was running low this morning.
  7. *FULFILLED* Baby Supplies: Carseats, diapers, clothing…You may have seen this post on Facebook – currently all these needs are met! There is a truckload coming courtesy of Kennedy High School.
  8. *OKAY FOR NOW* Trash removal. Our dumpsters are full and we are unable to secure another dumpster. Would you be willing to swing by and pick up a bag of trash to put out in your own trash this week? We’ve started a stack near the front doors. Grab what you can.
  9. *FULFILLED* Pillows: New, in-the-package pillows are needed for guests staying at the church.  We’d love to provide everyone with a pillow and have a need for bunch more.
  10. *FULFILLED* Gatorade and Power DrinksWe received word that a couple palettes of Gatorade are on their way to be delivered. This request has been fulfilled.

Have a group meeting at the church?

Check for Ministry Cancellations (for groups who use our building)

Open Hands Food Pantry

The Cedar Hills’ Open Hands Food Pantry will be open for their regular hours. Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-1pm, Fridays 10am-1pm.  The food pantry IS accepting non-perishable food items. The biggest need is proteins–peanut and other nut butters, canned meats, etc.  We have plenty of snack-type items on hand and carbs/breads.

Bright Spots

imonImOn just upped our internet to super fast speeds to fulfill the high demand on the internet in the building.   Thank You, ImOn for offering this much needed service for no charge! Send them some thanks.


img_1777Shower trailers have arrived, thanks to Joe’s Wet Shack and Bunkhouse out of Manchester, along with a donation from Walmart of 200 bath towels.

Monday and Tuesday mornings, Hy-Vee provided 150 sausage, ham, bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. Thank you, Hy-Vee!

Monday, a load of pizzas arrived from Dominos on 16th Ave – an anonymous donor had these delivered.  Our staff and guests are quite thankful.  While the Red Cross has strict guidelines for food donations, this was a nice treat.  Right now, we are not able to accept baked goods.

CVS on 16th Ave and Edgewood Road has kindly offered to fill the prescriptions of any of our guests and also deliver them to the church. Thank you, CVS!

Monetary Donations

To donate money to the Flood Relief cause, visit the Red Cross Donation page or give online to Cedar Hills via eGive.

Ministry Cancellations and Updates

Due to our building housing a Red Cross Shelter, events and groups scheduled to meet at the church have been adjusted. Here’s what we know for this week:

Noah’s Ark Preschool – in session. No change to the preschool schedule.

Open Hands Food Pantry – open for their normal hours of operation. Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm, Fridays 10am-12pm.

Elders Meeting – meeting as scheduled.

Leadership Network – meeting as scheduled.

All Stars for Jesus – cancelled.

Choir Rehearsal – cancelled.

Boys Scouts – cancelled.

Worship Ministry teams – cancelled. Meeting early Sunday morning for rehearsal.  Details to come by email.

Stoney Point Condo Association – meeting postponed to October 10.

Cedar Rapids Strings – rehearsal (9/26) cancelled.