About Sara Langenberg

Independent public relations consultant working for nonprofits and small businesses to raise donations and sales.

June 8 Kickoff to Feature Activities for the Whole Family!

June8Flier

Flier about June 8 event.

To kick off our Summer 2015 program, we’re joining forces with area social service agencies to provide activities for the whole family on our first day of service: Monday, June 8, 2015.

The “Safe Summer Kickoff” event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 8, on the lawn of the historic Ranshaw House, 515 W. Penn St., in North Liberty. If the weather is bad, the event will be moved to the lower level of the nearby Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St.

The rest of the summer (weekdays June 9-August 14, excluding July 3), our Summer Lunch & Fun Program will feature free food and activities for kids up to age 18. The June 8 event is a one-day collaboration with the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, the Johnson County Breakthrough Series Collaborative Team, and Johnson County Americorps.

“The goal of our ‘Safe Summer Kickoff’ is provide a fun environment for families to interact and learn more about programs that will help children and families stay safe and active throughout the summer,” said Raquishia Harrington, site director of the Broadway Neighborhood Center. “Collaborating with the North Liberty summer lunch program seemed like a great way to help our program reach more North Liberty families.”

During the June 8 event, “we will provide picnic-style food such as hotdogs, pulled-chicken sandwiches, desserts, and salads. Activities will be a variety of carnival style games and field games,” Harrington said.

Last summer, the North Liberty Summer Lunch & Fun Program served more than 2,500 free meals to children. Again this summer, it will provide free lunch for kids up to age 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and free activities from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays June 8 through August 14, excluding July 3.

However, the Summer Lunch program will be hosted at a new location this year: outside the Ranshaw House at 515 W. Penn St. instead of outside the nearby community center. In bad weather, the program will still be moved to the lower level of the nearby Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St.

“We are looking forward to another exciting summer,” said Tracey Mulcahey, a program organizer and assistant city manager in North Liberty. “Combining our first day of service with the Neighborhood Centers’ summer kickoff event is going to be a fantastic introduction to our program. We had so much fun last year, and know the program helped build a stronger sense of community among so many families.”

“Families who came to the program last summer are excited to hear about what will be happening this year,” said Tina DuBois, director of the North Liberty Community Pantry, which hosts the program’s lunch and activity once a week. “The program is a great chance for children to have a meal and stay active over the summer. One grandmother said that her grandchildren woke up early all summer last year and would ask if it was time to go to the summer lunch and fun.”

The summer lunch program still welcomes adult volunteers to help serve food or host children’s activities (VOLUNTEER INFO & SIGNUP). Food service volunteers are asked to help from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Activities can be hosted by anyone, and these volunteers are asked to provide an activity to entertain the children from 11:45 am. to 1 p.m. Last summer, the majority of children are between 2 and 11 years old, and the program served an average of 60 meals per day, attendance ranging from 30 to 100 kids.

“Last year, activities included cupcake decorating, bubble fun, container gardening, soccer, music, yoga, and a butterfly demonstration,” Mulcahey said. “We are fortunate to have so many business owners and residents willing to work with the kids to introduce them to new and fun activities.”

Area organizations and businesses serving youth and families are invited to bring a display table or hand out fliers during the June 8 event. Contact raquishia-harrington@ncjc.org for details.

For more information about the summer lunch program, visit our website at https://nlsummerlunch.wordpress.com. Information about the Neighborhood Center and its youth programs is online at http://www.ncjc.org/.June8Flier

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Gearing up for 2015: New site, new hours, need for item donations

We’re gearing up to begin the program June 8 for the summer of 2015, but at a new location just north of the Community Center: the lawn of the Ranshaw House.

This location will give us more lawn space for activities. However, we would appreciate a few item donations. We need three picnic tables, a refrigerator, and a three-gallon water jug. Contact us to make a donation!

We also are adjusting our meal and activity times for 2015 based on last year’s program.

 

  • Meals will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Activity time is 12-1 p.m.

Finally, we appreciate the North Liberty City Council’s award of $2,500 to hire a part-time program coordinator!

 

 

NL Leader, Press-Citizen & KGAN cover our Summer’s End Appreciation Event!

Our thanks to the North Liberty Leader, Iowa City Press-Citizen, and KGAN Channel 2 for covering our 2014 finale — a party August 15, 2014, to thank our many supporters with free lunch and great activities for the kids.

We estimate about 250 people attended the party, which was near the playground equipment next to the library. It began with a presentation to thank dozens of financial and food donors, our volunteer crews, and activity hosts.

Free lunch included pizza, fresh fruit and vegetables from the Coralville Hy-Vee, sheet cake donated by JJ’s Cupcakes of North Liberty, popcorn donated and discounted by the Popcorne Shoppe of North Liberty, and dilly bars discounted by the North Liberty Dairy Queen.

Activities for the kids included a bouncy house, balloon crafting with North Liberty resident Scott Fiddelke, face painting, and a fruit-kabob educational activity provided by Coralville Hy-Vee nutritionist Stephanie Potratz.

It was a great time!

Invitation to our Aug 15 Summer Lunch Appreciation Banquet

We’re having a party to thank our sponsors, volunteers, food donors, and activity hosts, beginning at 10:30 a.m. FRIDAY, August 15, at the North Liberty Community Center.

A presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by free lunch for everyone at 11:30, and a bouncy house, balloon-crafting, and face-painting for the kids afterward.

The 15th will be the last day of service for the program, which has served more than 2,300 free meals to kids since the program launched June 9.

Please feel free to print and post the Invitation to Our Aug 15 Summer Lunch Banquet to share with your friends and other supporters! Click on the blue link and save it to your desktop, where you can print as many copies as you want!

Hope to see you on the 15th!

Join us for an end-of-summer appreciation celebration!

Coordinators of the Summer Lunch Program are planning a big bash on Friday, August 15, to thank the dozens of sponsors, volunteers, and restaurant owners who helped make the program possible this summer!

All sponsors, volunteers, food donors, and the public are welcome to attend the party, which will begin with a presentation at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch for all guests at 11:30 a.m. We’d love for our supporters to meet some of the kids who’ve enjoyed their support!

Activities for the kids will include a bouncy house and a balloon maker from about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please join us! An RSVP to volunteer Sara Langenberg would be appreciated so we can make sure we have enough food, including cake donated by JJ’s Cupcakes & Creamery, and popcorn from the North Liberty Popcorn Shoppe!

Friday the 15th will be the final day of the free lunch program, as school begins the following Tuesday. Also, there is a great event providing free shoes, haircuts, and other back-to-school necessities for North Liberty kids from 3-6 p.m. Monday, August 18, at Penn Elementary School, called Servolution.

 

 

 

Program serves 1,800 free meals in six weeks

In the first six weeks of our 10-week program, we are delighted to have served more than 1,500 free meals to children in North Liberty, plus an additional 300 meals to parents and guardians, thanks to so many generous donations and volunteers.

Parents and guardians are offered leftovers after all of the children have had an opportunity to get second-servings, and sometimes there are enough leftovers to send home, too. We don’t want anyone to go away hungry. Our goal is to provide a free, healthy meal to all interested kids regardless of need, and also provide free meals to children receiving free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year. Those children may not have access to free meals during the summer.

Statistics from the five public schools in North Liberty show that last year, about 500 children in kindergarten through 12th grade at those five schools were receiving free or reduced-price lunches because their family’s annual household income met federal poverty guidelines.

We serve an average of 60 meals per day, although the number of guests can range widely, from 32 one day to 96 the next, making meal-planning a bit of a challenge! Still, our volunteers make it work every day.

Food donations so far have been provided by Red’s Alehouse, Zio Johno’s of North Liberty, Molly’s Cupcakes of North Liberty, Late Night Cake Company of North Liberty, and LD Express. Three church-group volunteers donate their meals as well, and other meals are provided thanks to cash gifts or the North Liberty Food Pantry, which serves lunch each Tuesday.

Activity hosts have included a butterfly expert from Forevergreen Garden Center, a gardening and composting expert from SoilMates, a yoga lesson by Sweet Feet Yoga, and a variety of balloon, bubble, or other activities. Staff at the library and recreation center host crafts and games on Mondays and Thursdays.

So many people are making this program come together! It is fantastic to see the joy on the childrens’ (and their parents’) faces when they see a favorite food or engage in a fun activity. Visit our Facebook page for photos. Our thanks to so many volunteers and sponsors.