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Volunteers and donations needed as derecho relief center plans to move

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - The Iowa Derecho Relief Center needs to move out of its current location by the end of November, and find a permanent location.

After the August 10 derecho the relief center opened its doors and continues to serve Iowans in need over three months following the storm. It is currently located at its third location at the former McGrath Ford Service Center in Cedar Rapids at 4001 1st Ave SE.

The relief center is currently in the process of getting approved to become a nonprofit organization called Together We Rise, and with hopes of approval, a permanent location would benefit the organization.

The relief center has occupied this space rent-free and minimal bills when it comes to utility payments. Now, the relief center and the supplies need to be moved to another location within a few weeks.

"We thought we just had a little bit more time unfortunately that's not the case so we do have to be out by the end of the month," Community Organizer Raymond Siddell said.

The current owners of the property are planning to tear down the building. Siddell and his team have been looking for permanent locations to move to, but moving to a new place brings with it some challenges.

"We know that we're good to have to pay rent. There's not a ton of building about there that somebody just you know…there's a lot of vacant buildings out there but not many that people are willing to hand over and let somebody use for a little bit of time or for a permanent location which is what we're looking for," Siddell said.

Tips for vacant places, or connections to someone looking to help in finding a new permanent location for the relief center is a way in which community members can help. Any tips can be emailed to office@togetherweachieve.org.

"We're trying to continue to do things for the community and part of that is going to be finding that permanent location so that we can continue to do those things and monetary donations will be used to afford us that opportunity," Siddell said.

Siddell said he will update the Together We Achieve and Iowa Derecho Storm Resource Facebook Pages with any information on help that will be needed when moving to the permanent location.

Sign up to volunteer here.

Make a monetary donation: Venmo @iowaderecho, PayPal: info@derecho2020.com, onsite, or contact the relief center at 319-432-9754.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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