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The Week in Social 8/31-9/4

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.


Looking for an experience at the ballpark like never before? Look no further.

“Dining on the Diamond” is a program with roots in Pawtucket, Rhode Island as a sister company to the PawSox, the triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers open-air hospitality that complies with safety regulations and allows fans to experience moments and create memories at the ballpark like never before.

The “Field of Dreams” site operator, Go the Distance, is partnering with the program, and beginning the weekend of Sept. 11, fans can enjoy a meal on the field. The menu will offer Midwestern favorites such as a pork tenderloin sandwich, Iowa pork chops and sweet corn on a stick. You can view the full menu and reserve tables here.


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) has launched a new, free online database called the Iowa Deer Exchange to connect deer hunters with Iowans who are searching for venison. Hunters will enter their information into the database and recipients can choose the condition they want the meat in — boned out, whole (field dressed), quartered, frozen, jerky/sausage and what amount they want. Once the parties have been connected, they work out the details of the transfer.

“We’re excited about this new opportunity to connect Iowans with this resource — both hunters and the venison recipients,” said Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Bureau. “It allows hunters who want to keep hunting a way to provide high quality, lean protein directly to those who want it.”


September marks Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. In a time when mental health resources have never been more important, the University of Iowa Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest has created a suicide prevention campaign for workplaces. The free toolbox comes with complete resources, including a facilitator guide, posters, videos and several “Toolbox Talks” with topics such as Start a Conversation, Reduce the Stigma and more. You can find the full website for this ever-important topic here.


BLK & Bold, a Des Moines startup selling coffee and tea, is quickly making a big name for itself. Co-founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson have won the Official Black Wall Street (OBWS) Black Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The two will receive a prize of $5,000 to go toward their business, which does more than just sell coffee.

In addition to their line of beverages, BLK & Bold is about community impact. Cezar and Johnson demonstrate it by pledging 5% of the business’ profits to initiatives aligned with sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development and eradicating youth homelessness. In 2020, the company also became the first black owned, nationally distributed coffee brand after becoming available at Target and Whole Foods.


The DSM Fellowship Program, a two-year professional development initiative, is welcoming its second class with a virtual kick off session. The program, created by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is designed to attract, develop and retain a diverse community of top-tier talent to Des Moines.

Those chosen for the program are selected by companies throughout the Greater Des Moines area and engage in four key programs: civic engagement, leadership connections, professional development curriculum modules and social activities. Companies invest in young talent through the program, and selected Fellows gain accelerated personal and professional experiences through connections in the business community. You can find the full list of 23 participants here.

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