Olivet Neighborhood Mission started in a church basement, and then moved to an old house across the street. Today, we have a dedicated location on 10th Street NW. No matter where we’re located, one thing stays the same: Olivet Neighborhood Mission grows to meet the needs of our community.
It Started With a Pile of Clothes on a Card Table
1976 – Church members and volunteers set up a card table with a couple of piles of clothes in the corner of the Olivet Presbyterian Church basement. This was the beginning of the mission to provide for the basic needs of the Olivet Neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1976 – As the neighborhood became populated with more young families, we added weekend youth programs for elementary-age children and Saturday night programs for teens.
Expansion to the Mission House
1987 – Olivet Neighborhood Mission quickly outgrew the church basement. In 1987, we moved our clothes closet and operations to a house across the street from the church.
Growing to Meet Changing Community Needs
1998 – A generous gift from an anonymous donor laid the foundation for continued growth. Within months, volunteers and community members broke ground on a new dedicated building that would become our current home.
1999 – Our current building opened, offering twice the space of our previous location.
2000 – Olivet Neighborhood Mission plants thriving community gardens, which bring families together to learn how to grow fruits and vegetables, and enjoy fresh, seasonal produce.
2005 – Taft Middle School students hold a food drive to meet holiday needs. They collected such a tremendous amount of canned goods, that the extra items become the start of our food pantry, where people can pick out healthy groceries when they need them most.
Flood Recovery & Rebuilding
2008 – Like much of Cedar Rapids, Olivet Neighborhood Mission was hit hard by the Flood of 2008. This disaster devastated families already struggling with food insecurity and poverty. Our staff and volunteers were heartbroken to send thousands of pounds of food and clothing ruined by the flood to the landfill.
With hope, determination, and the hard work and support of volunteers and donors, we were able to resume our most essential services within three months, reopening our doors to families who needed our help more than ever.
2009 – The Olivet Neighborhood Mission and Boys and Girls Club of the Corridor combined our efforts to provide high-quality youth programs for kids ages 5 to 13. Learn more about our youth programs, which offer enrichment activities and supervision to children after school and during the summer holiday.
Growth & Compassionate Service Continue
Olivet Neighborhood Mission is again outgrowing our space as we continue to meet an ever-increasing need in our community. With your support, we can continue to feed, clothe, and support families in Cedar Rapids by expanding our space to store donations. Become part of our history of changing lives by donating funds, food, clothes or household goods, or your time.