By Robin Grunder
For three years, Charla Schafer has served as the executive director for the Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA). During this time, Schafer has been an integral part of facilitating in the growth of the services they provide, particularly when it comes to the expansion of homelessness deferral programs; living, learning, and labor advancement initiatives, and improved conversations dealing with affordable housing and stabilization of the homeless and near homeless in Muscatine. On July 16, Schafer will take this leadership experience and passion for the Muscatine community with her to a new role as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.
As stated in a press release from the Community Foundation: “The board is pleased and excited to have Charla join the Community Foundation. Her passion, experience, and drive to better our community fits perfectly with our mission of strengthening Muscatine County. She has done a tremendous job with MCSA and we are honored that she will join the Community Foundation as Executive Director.”
“This is an incredible opportunity to be invited to join the Community Foundation team and Board in supporting, impacting, and promoting strategic activities and good work across the diverse sectors of our community,” states Schafer about the move. “With a varied portfolio of experience and a passion for collaborative change, I hope to learn quickly, so that I can begin to contribute to the team, partners, and the greater good.”
The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit that actively works to improve the quality of life in Muscatine County through philanthropy by enabling community members, families, businesses to invest in the organizations they are most passionate about, while providing a neutral place for collaboration of community improvement initiatives. Managing more than 200 charitable funds and endowments with assets of more than $24 million, the programs and services touch hundreds of charities and thousands of Muscatine County residents. Most recently, the Muscatine Community School Foundation and Muscatine Health Support Foundation chose to partner with the Community Foundation, bringing increased growth in educational scholarships and wellness to their broadening arena of influence.
“The growth of the Community Foundation is a game-changer, locally,” states Schafer. You can see the strength community foundations create within their designated regions; this foundation is counted among them.”
Schafer says that it is exciting to be a part of an already successful organization where Community Foundation donors can see great success and joy by “giving while living” in Muscatine. “Charitable funds are positioned to provide for today and anchor the success of tomorrow.”
Reflecting on her time and experience with MCSA, Schafer says that it was a difficult decision to leave but does so knowing that they will continue to have strong leadership and a committed board. She thanks all those who have stepped forward in volunteering their time, talents, and gifts to create a lasting change.
Schafer’s biggest takeaway from leading at MCSA has been in the people she has served. “I want to recognize all the men, women, and children who have utilized our services. Their spirit and conviction are inspiring. I have learned more from those we served and those that I served than I could have ever imagined. I have seen true community day in and day out.”