#UrbanAcresGivesBack: A Summer of Giving and (Safe) Family Fun

It’s safe to say 2020 has been far from typical. That statement applies to just about everything right now, including the ways we at Urban Acres will focus our time and our charity support dollars for the remainder of the year. 

This year, we’ll forgo some of our own yearly events – such as our Spring Family Day and Client Appreciation Party – in order to put those funds and more toward something even better: our community. 

Over the course of the summer and throughout the rest of 2020, we’ll be donating more than $20,000 to local organizations and events. Where possible, the dollars will go toward events that can continue safely. In other cases, it will go directly to organizations that simply need our support to stay afloat in these uncertain times. 

We know these are stressful times for many. That’s why we’re particularly excited to help support some of your favorite family-friendly activities in a new (and safe) way. Here’s how you can get in on the action – and the fun!

7 Fun Things to Do This Summer in the Iowa City Area

1. Catch a Drive-In Movie

This year, the Summer of the Arts (SOTA) is taking a step back in time by turning their Free Movie Series into a free drive-in movie series! Rather than showing films on the Pentacrest, they’ll be screening movies at the Iowa City Airport with space for up to 50 socially-distanced vehicles. Reserve your spot online, drive up, and catch a free show! Did we mention Sno Biz will be there?

As a sponsor for this series, we’re very excited to see it take shape in this new “retro” format! See this summer’s movie schedule here.

2. Stop by the Iowa City Farmers Market (Virtually!) 

Craving the fresh, locally-grown food you’d normally pick up at the Iowa City Farmers Market? You can still get it online! With the help of Field to Family, this summer staple event has moved online this summer. Online ordering opens every Tuesday at noon and closes Wednesdays at noon or when pick-up slots fill up (which is fast!). Place your order, drive up for contact-free pickup on Saturdays, and take your fresh produce home in an Urban Acres reusable bag. Place your orders here

3. Submit Your Pet to be in the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation’s 2021 Calendar

Is your camera roll overflowing with pictures of your photogenic pet? We know the feeling. Submit your furry friend’s photo to the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation’s first annual pet photo contest and fundraiser for a chance to be featured in their 2021 A Year of Paws calendar! 

Don’t have a pet? Just love looking at super cute animal pics? You can still participate! Browse through the other photo submissions and vote for your favorites to determine who makes it into the calendar. One vote costs $1, and all proceeds go toward supporting animal care services for the over 3,000 animals the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center helps each year. As avid animal lovers ourselves, we proudly donate to FACF each year. Cute animals, family fun, and making a positive difference in our community? Sounds like a win-win-win to us! Voting ends July 31 at midnight.

4. Tune into Virtual Shows and Events at Local Theatres

Miss catching shows and concerts at your favorite local theatres? Now you can – virtually! Many of our area theatres have gotten creative and worked hard to move their shows, fundraisers, and even acting camps online. 

For example, Old Creamery Theatre is throwing it back to the days of drive-in theaters with Drive-In Live, their new concert and theatre series. And with online youth theatre workshops such as Old Creamery’s Camp Creamery, Englert’s Acting Out, and Theatre Cedar Rapid’s Online Summer Camps, there’s no shortage of ways for performing arts-savvy kiddos all across the Corridor to stay busy this summer.

We know how important our local theatres are to our thriving arts and culture scene that helps make the Corridor such a great place to live. That’s why we’re proud to donate $1,000 to each of the following theatres: Englert Theatre, Riverside Theatre, City Circle Theatre Company, and Old Creamery Theatre

5. Head Over to Sno Biz for Shaved Ice

Need to cool down? Good news – Sno Biz is open for the season! Head over to their location in the 1st Ave Hy-Vee parking lot in Iowa City for an icy treat and choose from more than 40 flavors (that’s 300+ combinations!). 

6. Tour Some of Iowa City’s Most Beautiful Homes

Love looking at beautiful homes? So do we, which is why we’re proud to sponsor the 53rd Annual Parade of Homes! This year’s parade was delayed and is happening August 1-9. 

Walk through some of the top-of-the-line new construction homes in our area and see the amazing work of local builders. Six of this year’s 20 parade homes are proudly listed by Urban Acres agents. See this year’s parade schedule here

7. Plant Something that Makes Our Community More Beautiful

One of the things that makes the Corridor such a great place to live is our beautiful neighborhoods. Whether it’s starting a community garden or planting some flowers to boost your home’s curb appeal, a little green thumb can go a long way in keeping our community looking its best.

Want to get involved on a broader scale? That’s where Project GREEN comes in. Over the last 50-plus years, Project GREEN has raised $2.2 million and completed hundreds of landscaping projects to make the public spaces in Johnson County more beautiful. Don’t have a green thumb or time to volunteer? Consider making a donation to Project GREEN, something we’re proud to do every year. 

Join Us in Giving Back! 

Our annual events may look a little different this summer, but we’re so happy to help bring some summer fun to our community and to continue supporting local charities whose fundraising efforts were impacted by the pandemic. Giving back has always been a part of who we are, and a pandemic won’t change that. 

Wondering what else we do throughout the year to help the community? Have questions about how you can get involved with any of the above organizations? Reach out and we’d be happy to chat!

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