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The Week in Social 9/21-9/25

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.


Willie Ray Fairley, owner of Willie Ray’s Q Shack, has been awarded $25,000 by Discover as part of the Eat It Forward program. Fairley served thousands of free meals in the Cedar Rapids area after the August derecho. “People keep donating, so we’re going to be giving out food for a long time. Even when the storm is over, cleaned up, if there’s still funds left, we will continue to give,” Fairley said in the weeks after the storm.

Willie Ray’s Q Shack is just one of 200 Black-owned businesses set to receive funds from Discover’s Eat It Forward program. The credit card company is taking nominations through October 31 on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.


Beth Bennett, a cook at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, has been hard at work sewing masks for her community. When a co-worker told Bennett that she wanted some masks, Bennett offered to help make some, stating she had “tons of fabric.”

Bennett originally was making the masks for co-workers in her department, but teachers and hair salon owners soon were asking for masks of their own. She received help as word got out, with donations of fabric, discounts on materials and help from a professional quilter who donated 200 masks. With nearly 2,700 masks made, Bennett now has a goal of 3,000.

“Every time I go somewhere, I always have my Ziploc baggie in the car,” said Bennett. “If somebody says something, I hand them a mask and say, ‘Here’s something that might help you be safe and other people be safe around you.’”


Money Magazine, which provides finance news and advice on saving, spending, careers, real estate and more, ranked Urbandale as one of the 50 best places to live in America. Money writer Mayra Paris wrote, “It’s not hard to see the appeal. Urbandale is served by six school districts and some of the best schools in the state of Iowa. In addition, the city maintains more than 50 parks and over 50 miles of bike and walking trails, as well as tennis courts, baseball fields and even a skateboard park with two quarter pipes, so kids will never lack for safe options to have fun.”

Paris also cited median home price and average age of residents as perks for the central Iowa city. To check out the full list, click here.


Fun activities with a Fall theme are here and Iowa PBS has made it easy to participate. The October calendar has arts and craft activities, plus games to keep kids engaged throughout the month. Examples include handprint spiders, glitter glue ghost art, pipe cleaner pumpkins and much more. The activities come with a list of the materials you’ll need, easy to follow instructions and pictures to show you what to do at each step. If your kids are looking for ways to get into the Halloween spirit, this is one resource you’ll want to bookmark.

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