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Operation: Make a Difference Finalists Announced

Update: Operation Make a Difference 2014 is complete. This blog remains live for our archive. 

We’re proud, excited, thrilled, overjoyed, and ecstatic to announce the 5 finalists in our Operation: Make a Difference contest. We had 15 deserving entries and had to narrow it down to 5. It was a tough job.

A brave committee of Far Reachers reviewed the projects and narrowed it down to the finalists below. We took a lot of different factors into account, including project scope, potential impact, creativity, benefit to the individual organization, and how well the project fit in with the skills of the Far Reach team.

The ultimate winner will be determined by you, the public. The project with the most votes at 11:59 p.m. on February 14 will be declared the winner. We’ll announce the winning project on February 17.


Learn about each of the finalists’ projects and organizations below.

Science Center of Cedar Rapids

The Science Center of Iowa in Cedar Rapids is an innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based learning center serving children, families, and school/youth groups. The Science Center would like to build an application to track and organize their volunteers, meetings, and activities.

Cedar Falls Community Main Street

Community Main Street fosters the economic vitality of downtown Cedar Falls while preserving and promoting its historic image and character. If chosen, the organization will build a new website that offers an interactive directory of downtown businesses, shares volunteer opportunities, and features information for potential visitors and supporters.

Children’s Cancer Connection

The Children’s Cancer Connection supports and connects Iowa families affected by childhood cancer. The Cancer Connection would like to build a mobile-friendly application that offers pertinent information to the families they serve and allows families to track their own medical journey with cancer. 

Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau has partnered with six other organizations—Waterloo Center for the Arts, Grout Museum District, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Waterloo Community Playhouse, Waterloo Leisure Services, and Waterloo Public Library—to promote downtown Waterloo’s unique, family-friendly venues. If chosen, they plan to build a mobile-friendly website featuring information on these attractions they are billing as the “Best Square Mile for Kids.”

Eat Greater Des Moines

Eat Greater Des Moines identifies, develops, and connects the community to resources that fill the gaps in the current food system. The group would like to build an application that would help them manage details involved in food rescue—details of donating organizations, types and quantities of donations, volunteer information, and more—in order to direct more human resources to other projects and initiatives.