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The Week in Social 6/15-6/19

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.


Johnston High School sophomores Eshaan Chandani and Anjali Kumar’s 10-minute documentary about Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver was recently selected to be featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s online showcase. While there were thousands of student submissions, only 35 will be featured on the Smithsonian Learning Lab from June 17 to June 24.

This year’s theme was “Breaking Barriers in History,” making Shriver a logical fit. Chandani and Kumar’s documentary focuses on how people with disabilities have received unequal treatment throughout history and how Shriver worked to create a community and legislation to support those with disabilities. Months of research and interviews with two of Shriver’s sons and the CEO of Special Olympics Iowa were conducted.

“I think the whole process was just really rewarding because we were able to thoroughly examine an unsung hero in history and, through our documentary, we were able to tell (Shriver’s) story to the world and show the impact that she had,” Chandani said. The project can be viewed on YouTube now.


Last week, Travel Iowa asked for user submissions for beautiful pictures that Iowans have taken on their favorite road trip destinations in every season. On Tuesday, summer was highlighted, Wednesday featured fall, Thursday saw winter posts and Saturday showed spring. Users could directly reply to the posts on Facebook and Twitter or tag Travel Iowa’s Instagram with their best photos. Some of the best pics will even be featured in Travel Iowa’s upcoming Travel Guide.


The Greater Des Moines Partnership and Catch Des Moines are teaming up to launch the 7-Day DSM Local Challenge. The initiative aims to get Des Moines residents to shop exclusively at local business for seven days straight. Not only are retail-focused small businesses encouraged, but so are small businesses that provide B2B services like professional development, consulting, printing, marketing, accounting, IT and more.

DSM Partnership also challenges those participating to seek out local businesses that go beyond their typical shopping lists. A new book, home improvement projects or décor and outdoor games are just a handful of ideas. The challenge is scheduled for June 25–July 1, and those who sign up before June 26 will have their name shared in a social media graphic on July 2.


Agricultural giant John Deere, which has manufacturing sites all across Iowa, recently donated 90,000 masks and face shields to University of Iowa Healthcare.

“All of us at University of Iowa Healthcare are thankful to John Deere for standing with us in our preparation for COVID-19,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. “Your generosity is helping to ensure the health and safety of our UI healthcare employees. The tens of thousands of masks and face shields are already making a tremendous impact across the entire UI healthcare system.”

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