Bell Ringing

Beginning on Monday, June 1 area communities of faith will ring their bells for one minute at 11:00 a.m each Monday to mark lives lost and affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This is part of a call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. The ongoing bell-ringing each week recognizes all lives affected by the pandemic. People are invited to stand outside at this time each week in solidarity with our community and the world.

Mail Cheer Program

Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the Decorah & Winneshiek County Mutual Aid Network are proud to announce the Mail Cheer Program! Many members of our community may be struggling with loneliness or isolation due to the current pandemic. To combat this, we’re asking for volunteers from our community to sign up to send a positive message of cheer by mailing a card anonymously and safely to our PO Box, which we will then forward to individuals who have asked to receive a card.
Would you like to send mail to someone in the community?

Great! Thank you so much for helping us spread some cheer around our town.

Please mail your cards to:

Mail Cheer Program
PO Box 169
Decorah, IA 52101

Once we receive it, we will forward it to those who have requested to receive mail.

A few tips for sending cards:

  • Please be safe! Do not include personal information, such as your address or workplace. You can mail your cards without a return address and remain totally anonymous.
  • Please be kind and positive! The goal of this program is to brighten someone’s day.
  • Please feel free to include artwork or other small items including stickers!
  • Please send one piece of mail per envelope.
  • Please feel free to send multiple pieces of mail in! There’s no limit to the amount of mail you can send in. We will accept mail until July 15.
Would you or a loved one like to receive mail?

To receive mail, please fill out this google form to submit your information.

Alternately, you can e-mail jessica@energydistrict.org and we will get you signed up. Please include your name and the address you’d like to receive mail at.

Need some creative materials to assist with your writing endeavors?

A tote box is available in the Little Free Craft Closet at ArtHaus full of mailing and artistic supplies. Please feel to drop by and pick up whatever materials would be helpful for you to create a cheerful letter for someone in our community! Additionally, if you have supplies to donate, please feel free to drop them off in the tote box as well!

The Decorah Mutual Aid Fund through the Decorah Faith Coalition

Your contribution to this Mutual Aid Network fund will be distributed through Northeast Iowa Community Action to low income individuals and families in Winneshiek County to cover bills and basic expenses such as rent, energy, telephone, other utilizes, and immediate expenses. Qualification as low income can be based on 2019 income or on the income from the past 30 days. First Lutheran Church of Decorah is collecting these funds on behalf of the Decorah Area Faith Coalition.

Linkhttps://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithely/give-one-time/255283?giving_to=Mutual%20Aid%20Network

Shortened versionbit.ly/firstluthmutualaid

Schedule Delivery with Hometown Taxi

As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Hometown Taxi will be open for delivery services and essential medical rides only, due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Hours will be Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Delivery cost within Decorah is $5 and from Wal-Mart is $6. Discounts for seniors and people with disabilities still apply. Call 563-382-3155 for services, and check Facebook or hometowntaxidecorah.com for possible changes in delivery open hours.

“Since the fall of 1987, Hometown Taxi has been open every week in every type weather to serve our community with safe and friendly transportation to work, to medical appointments, to grocery stores, and to social events,” Scot Idstrom, Hometown Taxi partner said. “It’s terribly difficult for us to have to reduce our services at this time, but it’s the responsible thing to do to keep our riders and the rest of the community safe,” he continued.

“We wish our community of riders well and want to continue supporting them with this delivery service. We hope to resume our regular schedule sometime in the near future,” Idstrom said.

Hometown Taxi is a partnership owned and operated by Scot Idstrom, Ian Miller, Heidi Olstad, Ketel Paulsen, Eric Paulson, Daniel Rotto, Eric VanVliet, and Craig Witt.

Decorah First United Methodist Church building closed until further notice

In an effort to protect the health and safety of members of the church congregation, staff and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Decorah First United Methodist Church building at 302 W. Broadway Street is closed to members and the public until further notice.

Recordings of worship services are provided via a link from the church website until in-person worship services resume. Visit www.decorahfirstunitedmethodist.org and click on the COVID-19 page.

“We believe the decision to suspend services will help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 while protecting the health and safety of those who would otherwise attend worship in person,” said Andrew F. Van Der Maaten, Administrative Council Chairperson, in a March 20 letter to members.

The church will not conduct weddings or funerals until further notice. Graveside services will be held with immediate family only. Memorial services will be held at a later time by the request of the family.

“These steps are in response to the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation directive that we not hold gatherings that exceed 10 persons in number. It is our prayer that all remain safe and healthy through these uncertain times,” said Van Der Maaten.

Buy Gift Cards through the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Gift Card Store

The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting the local business community.  As a community we have supported each other through many difficult times and this time will be no different.

The times are uncertain; the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to business and community is not. In response to COVID-19, our office is closed to the public and our in-person meetings and programs are postponed but we will continue to provide resources, engagement and leadership.

Remember all the businesses that have donated to your clubs, events and organizations? They are calling in a favor. Help us answer the call. The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce has set up a one-stop shop for all your local gift card purchases. Visit www.DecorahAreaChamber.com to support  35 (and counting!) local businesses by purchasing gift cards.

We understand the difficulty our local businesses, and our local economy will have in the coming weeks or months.  Many businesses are closed or operating under reduced hours or services.  Purchasing gift cards will support local business now while allowing you to shop as soon as doors are open again.

Business hasn’t stopped, and neither has the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about how we’re supporting you and how we can support each other by visiting
https://www.decorahareachamber.com/online-gift-cards.html

The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce mission is to be the trusted resource in the business community for advocacy, collaboration, and education.

Idea Labs for Entrepreneurs

Winneshiek County Development and Tourism, along with an energetic planning committee, is bringing an event for entrepreneurs to two Winneshiek County communities. Entrepreneurs are invited to register for the Idea Lab, an exciting event for new business idea development.  Events will take place on March 3 and March 28 in Decorah, and on April 2nd in Calmar.  Participants can RSVP on the Winneshiek County Development and Tourism website at www.winneshiekdevelopment.org/idea-house/.

Event attendees can be entrepreneurs or supporter that will solicit feedback on their business concepts from a supportive coaching team and peers. Stephanie Fromm, Executive Director, states “In the past, ideas for new businesses have ranged from a rock climbing gym, duck farm, food stalls, accounting service, or even a cleaning company through a cooperative business model.” Fromm added “This is an event that supports the exploration of a new business venture, in preparation for the Winneshiek Idea House event that will take place this Fall.”

Kristin Eggen, co-organizer, said “Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a new idea or looking to level up your current business with new opportunities, the Idea Lab is designed to provide entrepreneurs with feedback that will clarify and focus a business idea. This is also a great event for people who just love to support small businesses, share expertise, or brainstorm. I can say from experience that it is just as much fun to be a “feedback-giver” as the person receiving the feedback!”

The event is free and will take place at Impact Coffee at 7pm on Tuesday, March 3rd and again at 10 AM on Saturday, March 28th (101 W Water Street, Decorah).  The third event will take place in Calmar at PIVO Brewery on Thursday, April 2nd at 5 PM.

Idea Labs are the first of two preparatory events for entrepreneurs who have an interest in being featured at the Fall 2020 Winneshiek Idea House.

This project is a collaboration with the Iowa Small Business Development Center for the purpose of incubating sustainable enterprises, encouraging business people of all ages, and making Winneshiek County an even better place to live.

Learn more about the Winneshiek Idea House and register for Idea Lab at https://winneshiekdevelopment.org/idea-house/.

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