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Iowans Share Heartwarming Stories Of Acceptance And Community In Wake Of Pandemic And Derecho

Before and After Project 90
Courtesy of Kendra Aarhus
A before and after photo of the mobile home renovated for a family in Shellsburg after the August 10 derecho through #Project 90.

The pandemic and a devastating wind storm, which was unexpected and came with little warning, turned 2020 into a difficult year for many Iowans. But in this time of great need, there have also been powerful acts of kindness.

This edition of Talk of Iowa will focus on those acts of kindness. Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Erin and Carter Bell to talk about the kindness of children through coordinated volunteer work and helping people in need.

The conversation continues with Bridget Robinson of Bridge over the Bridge in Cedar Rapids. Robinson started feeding people after the derecho hit in August and hasn’t stopped handing out free meals ever since. Then, Sebastian Price talks about the life-changing power of acceptance and Kendra Aarhus describes her work to help a displaced family by building them a new home through the program Project 90.

Kendra 2.jpg
Kendra Aarhus
Project 90
Kendra Aarhus, founder of Project 90 rehabbing a mobile home.

Finally, we asked Iowans to send us the audio version of their stories. Our program ends by listening to the voices of Matt Kenney, Stephanie Healy and Mary Bumann, all residents of Cedar Rapids, describing acts of kindness they received from their neighbors following the August derecho.


· Erin Bell, associate director of marketing, live mascot program director, Drake University
· Carter Bell, son of Erin Bell
· Bridget Robinson, founder, Bridge Under The Bridge
· Sebastian Price, student, University of Northern Iowa
· Kendra Aarhus, Project 90
· Matt Kenney, resident, Cedar Rapids
· Stephanie Healy, resident, Cedar Rapids
· Mary Bumann, resident, Cedar Rapids

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
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