Olivet Mission’s Story

From the basement of the church, to an old house across the street, to our current building, Olivet continues to grow to meet the needs of our community.

Old Building Olivet

It All Started With a Pile of Clothes on a Card Table

1976 – Church members and volunteers set up a card table with a couple piles of clothes in the corner of the church basement. This was the beginning of the mission to provide for the basic needs of the Olivet Neighborhood.

1976 – As the neighborhood became populated with more young families, the Mission added weekend youth programs for elementary aged children and Saturday night programming for teens.

Expanding to the Mission House

1987 – The Mission quickly outgrew the church basement and, in 1987, was able to expand their clothes closet and operations to a house across from the church.

Growing to Meet the Need

1998 – A generous gift from an anonymous donor laid the foundation for continued growth. Within months, volunteers and community members were breaking ground for a new building.

1999 – In one short year, the Mission had a building with double the space.

Ribbon Cutting 3Feeding the Community

2000 – With such high need in the community, no space can be wasted. The former clothes closet was torn down and replaced with a thriving community garden.

2005 – Taft elementary students held a food drive to meet the annual holiday need. They collected such a tremendous amount of canned goods that the excess became the start of the food pantry.

Recovering and Rebuilding

2008 – Like much of Cedar Rapids, Olivet Neighborhood Mission was hit hard by the flood. A disaster that proved even more devastating for families already struggling. The Olivet community was heartbroken to send thousands of pounds of food and clothing to the landfill.

With hope and a determination to rebuild, volunteers and generous donors were able to reopen our most essential services within three months.

On tenuous footing already, needy families still have not recovered IMG_5174from the tragedy of the flood and need the Mission services now more than ever.

Programs For Youth

2009 – Existing youth programs at the Mission combined with the youth support programming at the Boys and Girls Club to serve children 5-13 right in their own neighborhood through what exists today as After School Program and Summer Recreation programs.

Continuing to Grow

history-storageWe are again outgrowing our space as we continue to meet an ever-increasing need in the community. With the support of our generous community, the Mission hopes to give more food to more families by expanding space to store non-perishable food items, donated clothing and household items.