The Blog

CFUM Newsletter Vol. 1 2020

AJ SalinasBlog

April 1, 2020


Updates on the state of CFUM, our programs, our partners, and our community. For current updates follow us on social media @CFUM_DSM

Letter from Tony

On behalf of CFUM, I would like to thank all of the front line heroes who are keeping our communities running and safe. These are very trying times for everyone and we are grateful for our first responders, law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, grocers and retailers who are providing access to much needed resources. We are praying for your health and safety during this time.
Our neighborhood is also meeting the challenge presented by the current public health crisis. Due to the pandemic, we had to suspend Supper Club, which had provided nightly meals to our children, families, and others in the community. Volunteer community members are filling the gap by providing “drive up” meals; approximately one hundred family dinners are distributed daily. CFUM is an integral part of the community that is stepping up to provide whatever is needed including food donations we previously collected for Supper Club as well as staff members sharing their time to help our neighbors.
As many of you may know, CFUM also had to stop providing programming when Des Moines Public Schools made the difficult decision to close school until at least mid-April. We are staying in touch with the School District so that we may resume as soon as it is safe to do so. During this time, we are continuing to plan for exciting and enriching summer programming; summer is our busiest time and we know it will be even more important given this education break that has occurred due to the health crisis.
In the meantime, CFUM leadership is supporting continued remote work for full-time staff to keep the day to day operations going forward. In addition, we acknowledge the important role that our part-time staff play in providing the best possible programming for our students. With that in mind we are continuing to pay their regular wages during this time of uncertainty, avoiding the need to lay off staff.
We are working constantly to keep our families informed and students engaged. In addition to providing updated information and links to resources, we are striving to keep students engaged in learning remotely. This week our reading mentors will record themselves reading a book that CFUM will then post online. Our plan is for families to access these recordings to help their children stay engaged in learning while school is not in session. If you are interested in creating a reading video, please email [email protected].
We are so appreciative of your past support of our organization. It has allowed CFUM the grace and latitude to continue paying our staff and rent so that we can be operational this spring and summer. We also realize that you have most likely been motivated to provide funds to organizations that are keeping our communities fed, housed, and safe, particularly in this unprecedented time. Please know that your ongoing support of monthly or one-time donations to CFUM is crucial to us being able to return to programming as soon as safely allowed.
When you are ready, you can make a donation to CFUM online at, or by mailing a check to PO Box 41125, Des Moines, IA 50311. Every dollar helps – $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000. It takes $4,800 each year to provide programming for just one child.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me through email at [email protected]. Thank you in advance for your time and support.
Tony Timm
Executive Director

Reading Mentors Needed

Our Reading Mentor program was added to our curriculum to improve the literacy levels of all our participants. Program participants are partnered with a ‘Mentor’ who come once a week for 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions consist of complete two-page workbook assignment of phonics and spelling, or another area of need for that student, followed by reading from an age-appropriate library book. Our goal is to match every program participant with a reading mentor. If you are interested in becoming a Reading Mentor or would like to take part in our Virtual Reading Time during our temporary closure contact Sabrina Ollie through email at [email protected]

Additional Resources

A Special Thank You

Cheese Bar

We would like to thank the Cheese Bar for their involvement with our organization. We were lucky enough to partner with them for a fundraiser in early March. They hosted a dinner for over 60 people and donated 50% of the proceeds from that night to our organization. They have also helped provide meals for our families and community during our temporary closure. Although we have just been introduced to each other, we are hoping this relationship continues to bring opportunities for both of us. Follow them on Facebook (@CheeseBarDSM) or visit their website ( to learn more.


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