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Ames’ Home Allies, Martha’s House participate in Gannett’s fundraising program

Approximately 750 nonprofits nationwide, including 17 in Iowa, including two in Ames, participate in A Community Thrives to raise funds for community-building programs. A Community Thrives is a grantmaking and crowdfunding initiative, funded by the Gannett Foundation and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Participating organizations are raising funds through their official Community Thrives challenge page from July 18 to 8 p.m. on August 12. You can donate to a participating organization at

All participating organizations will keep the crowdfunding money they raise on their individual Community Thrives pages. And a few organizations across the country will also share $2 million in Gannett Foundation grants. The grants are expected to be announced in October.

The two Ames organizations participating in A Community Thrivs this year are:

Home Allies, Inc.

Home Allies creates affordable and accessible housing for people whose incomes and life experiences increase their risk of housing instability and homelessness.

Ames has a shortage of rental housing for people with particularly low incomes, and the regional homeless shelter recently served triple the number of people as usual, according to documents from Home Allies’ A Community Thrives program.

To meet this need, Home Allies is raising funds to build and operate a small apartment complex for individuals and small families with very low or no income who are facing housing insecurity or homelessness. Potential tenants of this complex are rejected for renting in other rental units for issues such as mental and behavioral issues, incarceration, bad credit, domestic violence, or sporadic employment. Some of the units will also be equipped to accommodate people who use wheelchairs or have other significant disabilities.

After:Former Story County Supervisor working building housing for those at risk of homelessness

Martha’s House of Hope

Martha’s House of Hope is a non-profit organization that provides shelter and education on topics such as parenting and financial skills to women who are pregnant or have recently given birth and need support, primarily from low-income families.

The organization uses volunteers to provide support to residents and their babies in the evenings and at night. According to documents from the organization’s A Community Thrives program, it has been difficult to find volunteers to consistently fill this role, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martha’s House of Hope raises funds for Operation Overnight to provide constant staff support and safety for its residents overnight, rather than relying on volunteers.

After:‘Not a shelter, but a home’: Martha’s House of Hope helps pregnant women

Missy Sanow, executive director of Martha's House of Hope, holds a baby at home Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa Organizations Participating in A Community Thrivs

Visit to contribute to these organizations during the fundraising period (until August 12).

  • Central Iowa Wind Ensemble, Ankeny
  • Civic Music Association, Des Moines
  • Community Health Resources, Bettendorf
  • Everyone wins! Iowa, Des Moines
  • Greater Des Moines Family Promise, Des Moines
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, Urbandale
  • Highland Park Community Development Association Inc., Des Moines
  • Home Allies Inc., Ames
  • Iowa Service Dogs, West Des Moines
  • Living Kingdom Iowa, Des Moines
  • Martha’s House of Hope, Ames
  • Shalom Community Impact Centre, Urbandale
  • Shelter House, Iowa City
  • The Southeast Iowa Arc, Iowa City
  • Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Iowa City
  • United Upper Nile South Sudanese Community Association in Iowa, Des Moines
  • Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines