All posts by jrobin

Thank You!

2018 Imagine Enough for Everyone MLK Day event

Thanks to everyone who came to the Imagine Enough for Everyone event at the Urbandale Library this year! The dangerous windchills lowered attendance for a second year in a row, but approximately 90 hardy people braved the weather and gave generously to the Urbandale Food Pantry. The final totals from the day are: 311 personal care items, 137 (mostly handmade) warm items, 431 food items, and $1,000 in monetary donations. In addition, the Library donated 139 dishes and 130 books.

Over these 10 years we have collected well over 13,000 items for the Urbandale Food Pantry, despite rain, snow, ice, windchills, and otherwise miserable winter weather (and a few nice days!).

If anyone planning to attend was not able to because of the weather, but have items or money to donate to the Urbandale Food Pantry:

Please drop them off directly to the Urbandale Food Pantry during their normal operating hours (Mon.-Thurs. 9:30am to 6:30pm, Sat. 8am-12noon). The UFP closes in extreme weather, so check the Pantry website or facebook page to make sure it’s open before you go! The Pantry is located at 7611 Douglas Ave., Suite 34/35 (the lower level (west side) of the Cedar Ridge Shopping Center on the north side of Douglas), Urbandale, IA 50322. Please mention that your donations are for “Imagine Enough” or “MLK Day” when you drop them off.

Please drop off or mail to the Pantry at the address above. Again, please put “Imagine Enough” or “MLK Day” in the memo or on a note with your donation. You can also donate online via PayPal and note the event there (

Thanks to the knitters who knitted on site—few in number but great in talent and production—who still created a little community of creators. Thanks also to Sheila and Mary who once again created scarves and blankets out of fleece fabric (and Lois who helped!).

Thank you to the volunteers who braved the weather to help make this event a success. Matt, Andrea, Carol, Dorothy, Rebecca, Katie, Mary, Kathy, Diane, Connie, Fred, and Jordan & Grade A Gardens—we couldn’t make the event work without you!

Thanks to the Channel 5 News for coming to cover the event and including footage on the 6:00 news!

And as always, a big thank you to the Urbandale Public Library, especially Laura and Lynnae, for opening their meeting rooms for our event, helping with logistics as needed, donating items, sponsoring the Food for Fines program, and providing welcome hospitality. We love the Urbandale Public Library!

This is the last year I will be organizing this event. It may continue in some form under another name next year—I hope so! But after 10 years, I am ready to reclaim the preparation and organizing time and to think about honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. in a new way.

In January 2009, the director of the new (at the time) Urbandale Food Pantry, Eileen, didn’t hesitate to say yes to the amorphous, new event I was organizing, and encouraged what I had in mind. The Library was on board from the start, offering their meeting room that first year, and creating the Food for Fines program which could only boost our numbers. My husband was also on board, helping at this event each year instead of enjoying his day off. And the Urbandale/Des Moines metro community always rocked the donations despite the January weather!

Thank you all! ~ Jane

2018 MLK Day of Service | MAKE IT PERSONAL!

Make It Personal!

January 15, 2018 | 9am to 2pm
Urbandale Public Library Meeting Room
3520 – 86th St., Urbandale, Iowa

On January 15, 2018, bring:

  • new (unused, unopened, and unexpired) personal care items
  • warm scarves and hats (especially hand-made)
  • monetary gifts

to help the Urbandale Food Pantry serve our neighbors in need throughout all of Polk County. Children are welcome! Since the first event in January 2009, we have collected over 12,000 items as well as monetary donations for the Urbandale Food Pantry. (This is our 10th, and probably last, year for the event as currently organized. If you are interested in taking over this Day of Service event for the Urbandale Food Pantry, please contact us using our contact form!)

Make It Personal!
Please bring PERSONAL CARE ITEMS because our clients cannot buy them with SNAP benefits (formerly “food stamps”) and the Pantry has to buy them (DMARC does not supply them as it does our food items).

Personal care items
Personal care items

also part of the event…

Creating Together
We invite knitters, crocheters and other crafters to come and knit/crochet/create with us for awhile (or just drop off your handmade scarves, etc.).

Knitters knitting
Knitters knitting

Taking Action
Help us come up with a list of actions (large and small) that we all can take in the coming year (and then pledge to do at least one!) to help those in need, especially addressing hunger and food insecurity.

Ideas for action
Ideas for action

Coloring Together
When you stop in that day, take a moment to color a special picture for the Urbandale Food Pantry.


AND for Urbandale Library Patrons:
Food for FinesFood for FineS
Every 1 donated:
new personal care item = $1 in fines
new food item = 50¢ in fines
on one patron account at the Urbandale Public Library.
NO LIMIT on number of items!

Thank you for helping our neighbors in need!