women meeting

Community Projects

Visiting Mom Project | Iowa Juvenile Home Mentorship | 50-50 in 2020 Project | Past Community Projects

Visiting Mom Project

In response to overcrowding and the need for programming tailored to the special needs of women offenders, ICIW opened a new visiting area in October 2013.

Thousands of visits take place each year at ICIW. Furnishings and books for the new visiting space are minimal.

During a recent visit to the new site, the idea to provide support for offenders and visitors by providing quality books, equipment and furnishings came about. This idea is now known as the Visiting Mom Project. The Visiting Mom Project would save ICIW funds for other programming and foster healthy relationships for offenders and their families.

The Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (I.O.W.A.), Polk County Women Attorneys (PCWA) and the Ashcraft Library Project are taking the lead in the fundraising efforts. The original goal stemmed from a 100-100 idea; 100 attorneys donating $100. Donations in any amount are welcome.

Brochure with donation form (PDF, 305KB)


Iowa Juvenile Home Mentorship Program

A Service Project to Help Iowa's Youth

IOWA sponsors a mentorship program with the Iowa Juvenile Home & Training Center (IJH) in Tama-Toledo Iowa. The IJH is "home" to dozens of young teenage Iowans, almost half of whom are children in need of assistance or are otherwise in need of a stable home. These young men and women face many hardships and challenges before, during and after their stays.

The library and art studio at IJH are important resources for these young people to gain knowledge, self-confidence and independence. Both need improvement and IOWA intends to help meet that need. IJH has a wish list of the items most needed (see link below). Individuals, firms and institutions are welcome to contribute with in-kind or monetary donations to this project.

IOWA encourages our members to join in our Wish List campaign by donating money, books, art supplies and other items to enhance and improve the lives of the IJH residents. IOWA members also are invited to the Juvenile Home to meet and mentor residents and get to know some of the wonderful young adults who are finding their way in the world.

  • If you or your firm would like to donate funds, please send them to IOWA at PO Box 8268, Des Moines, IA 50301
  • If you would like to purchase an item from the Wish List (PDF, 76KB), an IOWA Board member or your IOWA district representative would be happy to collect the items and make sure they reach the Juvenile Home. We plan to add a "Young Women's Recommended Reading List" to our website and books from that list can be purchased as well.

If you have questions about the program or would like to volunteer to help coordinate donations, please contact Alison Werner Smith, former IOWA President.


50-50 in 2020 Project

IOWA is a partnering organization in 50-50 in 2020, a bi-partisan, issue neutral organization that was formed last year for the purpose of electing women to 50% of the seats in the Iowa Legislature and half of Iowa’s Congressional delegation and a woman to the office of Governor by the year 2020, the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in the U.S. You can find out more about the organization, its principles and plans, by going to its website: www.50-50in2020.org.

from 50-50 in 2020:

Ready to Run?

The Iowa Legislature has adopted the first reapportionment bill submitted to them. That means that once again, Iowa is the first state in the nation to complete its redistricting process. The plan creates a number of open seats, which is good news for women hoping to run in 2012.

If you are one of these women, we urge you to do the following:

  1. Go to your county auditor’s office and get a map showing the boundaries of your district
  2. Form an “exploratory committee” that represents a cross-section of your district, at least some of whom are involved in politics
  3. Contact your party’s county chair and let her/him know that you are interested in running

When you have decided to run, go to the website www.50-50in2020.org and sign up for the “Blueprint for Winning Academy” to be held January 13-15, 2012. This two-plus day workshop will help you develop your strategy, hone your message, and launch a successful campaign. It will also connect you with a mentor and a currently serving woman legislator to shadow for a day or two during the 2012 legislative session.

Our goal is to recruit 20 women to run for the Legislature in 2012. Will you be one of them?


Past Community Projects

  • public education campaign on "shaken baby syndrome"
  • 202 in 2002 Project, started by IOWA past-president Gail Sheridan-Lucht in 1999, with the goal of having counties install diaper-changing stations in the men's and women's restrooms in each of the 101 courthouses in Iowa by the year 2002. Over 50 Iowa counties had installed the stations at last count. Our philosophy continues to be that the availability of a diaper changing station is not a luxury but a necessity.


For more information about IJH:

Iowa Juvenile Home Foundation Brochure (PDF, 573KB)

Iowa Juvenile Home Foundation Annual Report (PDF, 7.13MB)