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We’ve received hundreds of submissions over the past two months for our new “A Community Thrives” program. This is a new approach to transforming our cities and towns by empowering all community members to act on an idea that improves the people, organizations, government, and businesses around them by providing them with the resources they need to thrive. It was developed through a collaboration across the entire USA TODAY NETWORK, which includes The Des Moines Register.

You can log on to act.usatoday.com and cast your vote for your favorites among the 37 organizations that represent areas of impact in Iowa. The process is easy and fun. Please take the time to participate and share with friends and family across social media. Voting ends on Friday, May 12.

The top 10 organizations per category will move on to the final round where a panel of judges and Gannett executives will select the top 3 organizations per category. The first-place organization receives $100,000 and the second and third receive $50,000 in grant money.

A BETTER IOWA: We want your ideas, solutions and opinions. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

We are extremely excited about the possibilities of this program, and we hope you are as well. A Community Thrives ties into our heritage of supporting worthy causes and programs that improve the daily lives of Iowans across the state. As we continue to highlight and investigate the opportunities and challenges facing a changing Iowa, I hope you will take the time to join us in voting for programs that you believe will further enhance our quality of life.

To vote, visit act.usatoday.com and follow the program on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet the Iowa organizations:

Arts & Culture

  • Ballet Des Moines
  • Community Support Advocates
  • Trinity Arts Enrichment Center
  • Des Moines Heritage Trust
  • Des Moines Art Center
  • Bricker-Price Block Restoration Corporation
  • Des Moines Social Club
  • Art Force Iowa
  • Fort Dodge Community Foundation
  • Rapids Preservation Society
  • Corning Opera House Cultural Center
  • Ames Foundation
  • Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE)
  • Organization Promoting Everlasting Neighbors (OPEN)
  • The Winterset Iowa Theater

Education

  • Iowa Homeless Youth Centers
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa
  • Genesis Incorporated
  • Des Moines I Have a Dream Foundation
  • Project Restore Foundation
  • CFUM Children and Families Urban Movement
  • Glenwood Community Schools Foundation

Wellness

  • Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC)
  • Casey Historical Society
  • Puppy Jake Foundation
  • Courage League Sports
  • Polk County Housing Trust Fund
  • Beau's Beautiful Blessings, Inc.
  • City of Lamoni
  • Operation Recreation
  • Parks To People, Grant Wood Mississippi River Region Inc.
  • Cradling New Life
  • Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
  • Friends of Iowa CASA and IFCRB
  • Central College
  • Decatur County Development Corporation
  • Project AWAKE

DAVID CHIVERS is president of Register Media. Contact: dchivers@registermedia.com

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