There’s something appealing about ditching the kitchen on a summer day and grabbing a bite from a local food truck. When that quick meal also benefits those in need in our community, it’s all the more palatable.
Such is the brainchild of the good folks in leadership at Dubuque Rescue Mission with their idea for a different kind of food truck.
The Kindness Cafe will be rolling on a road near you, and its goal is two-fold: Providing a free meal to people in need and bringing job experience to the men the mission serves. Members of the community can support both causes by buying the truck’s “hoagies for the homeless” on weekends.
The concept is a good one — literal community outreach, allowing the mission to meet clients in their own neighborhoods. For the 50 men the mission serves, the truck presents an opportunity to learn what it takes to run the mobile cafe.
Locals who want to support the Kindness Cafe will find it from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Crystal Lake Cave. An $8 lunch — sandwich, chips and a drink — will pay for four lunches for those in need.
Credit goes to Executive Director Rick Mihm and the staff at the mission for this creative approach to serving the underserved.
The Dubuque County Disabilities Council is in need of new members who have real-life experience with or near disabilities.
That’s one challenge facing the county’s new mental health and disability services director, Ann Cameron Williams, and it’s one she’s not taking lightly.
Williams went before county supervisors to advocate for greater representation and inclusivity on the council. After three months in the role, Williams said she’s been unable to identify anyone with or near disabilities represented on the board. The council’s own bylaws say 11 of the positions should be filled by advocacy representatives, meaning family members or people with lived experiences.
Further, 13 of the 19 positions on the board are either currently vacant or filled with members who have not reapplied for their position, as the ends of their terms draw near. Who better than disabled individuals or their loved ones to help map out the pathway for county mental health advocacy?
And there’s the fact that the group has not met at all in 2021.
Williams will have her work cut out for her to bring this board in a more active state of advocacy, but that’s exactly what is needed. She’s even adopted the mantra of the movement to support the rights of people with physical and intellectual or developmental disabilities — “Nothing about us, without us.”
If you or someone you love lives with a disability, consider joining the county disabilities council. It’s hearing real-life experiences that will make this board more effective in supporting the needs of disabled people across Dubuque County.
Happy birthday to one of the tri-state-area’s small-town gems: Elkader, Iowa. This unique community is celebrating its 175th this weekend, and it’s a town worth toasting.
A city of a little more than 1,300 nestled in a valley alongside the Turkey River, Elkader’s downtown is designated a Cultural and Entertainment District. Visitors come to ride the waves at Elkader Whitewater Park, shop the various boutiques, snap selfies at Keystone Bridge and hike the Motor Mill Trail. And if you go to Elkader and forget to stop at Pedretti’s Bakery, turn around and go back. These are cookies you need.
The trip to Elkader is a scenic drive no matter where you’re coming from, so if you can’t make it for the terquasquicentennial (yep, that’s what you call a 175th anniversary), put Elkader on your list for a summer or fall road trip. It won’t disappoint.