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The Week in Social 1/25-1/29

Everywhere you look, Iowans are uniting like never before. While times may be tough right now, we’re seeing it won’t stop the great people in the state from supporting one another. Many have taken to social media to help those in their communities, share helpful resources or to simply highlight something positive to bring joy to others. The Week in Social will round up the best of #IowansUnite and share these uplifting stories.

One simple act of kindness by a Cedar Rapids Hy-Vee cashier was returned in a big way from the man he helped.

As Sam Hammes was grocery shopping after work, he realized he had forgotten his wallet. A co-worker lent him the money to complete his shopping, but upon seeing his total, Hammes realized he was short $12. That’s when his cashier, Peter Mbonabucha, stepped in to help.

“… Peter out of the kindness of his heart came to the other side of the counter, and he paid for the difference in my groceries,” Hammes said.

Inspired by the surprising act of generosity, Hammes took to social media and started a GoFundMe to return the favor. That GoFundMe raised more than $3,000, which was presented to Peter during his shift last week.

“It’s what I do on a daily basis when I’m here at work,” he said. “I know sometimes I run out of funds, and I want to go buy something, and when I don’t have enough when I’m short somebody covers it,” Peter said.

Hammes, who felt profound impact from the act of kindness, knew he could pay it forward in a big way and hopes that this will inspire more generous acts.

“The biggest thing is we live in a world right now, where there’s a lot of divisiveness, and if a complete stranger can pay for my groceries and complete strangers can donate back to a cause that they feel strongly about, I think people can put aside their differences,” said Hammes. “I can guarantee you the impact it had on me and my thought and my outlook on things is much greater than he realizes. I hope it inspires people to do good things for people they don’t know.”

It might look and feel like a skating rink … but Science Center of Iowa’s (SCI) new indoor “snow globe” only requires a pair of socks, no uncomfortable ice skates necessary. Thanks to a high-tech synthetic polymer surface, this rink isn’t made of real ice — but it’s just as slippery!

The experience is included with a general admission ticket which cost no more than $11.00. Participants’ own socks will work, or they can purchase a pair from the A-ha! Store. Face coverings are required for entry, and rink capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.

For last week’s National Plan for Vacation Day, Travel Iowa polled its followers on Twitter and Instagram, asking which types of trips they were most looking forward to taking. Outdoor adventures, an arts and culture weekend, a family vacation and romantic getaways all received support, with followers particularly excited for outdoor adventures.

While travel may still feel uncomfortable for some, you can at least look forward to the trips you can take once you feel comfortable traveling again. Planning ahead to a trip is a great way to create some excitement in a time when most need it. If you’re looking for more fun vacation or trip ideas around the state, visit

Iowa legend Donna Reed, famous for films such as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “From Here to Eternity” and more, will now have her own holiday, a proclamation that was made by Gov. Kim Reynolds on the 100th anniversary of Reed’s birthday.

Gov. Reynolds encouraged “Iowans to be like Donna Reed and follow their dreams with integrity, courtesy and humanity,” citing the Donna Reed Foundation for Performing Arts, whose mission is to promote excellence in education, performing arts and the community.

The Oscar-winning actress, originally named Donnabelle Mullenger, was born 100 years ago in the Denison area. She moved to Los Angeles at age 17, where she eventually became a star with her breakout role in the 1941 film, “The Get-Away.” In addition to her endeavors as an actress, she co-founded her own TV production company, which produced “The Donna Reed Show” which ran for eight years between 1958 through 1966.

“Donna Reed’s life really was wonderful,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “She was an Iowa icon, a gifted actress, a savvy businesswoman and a visionary humanitarian who always kept in touch with her hometown. We can all learn from her example.”

Published February 01, 2021

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