Each year, downtown Iowa City businesses come together for a combined giving campaign during the holiday season called the Downtown Days of Giving. An effort facilitated by the Iowa City Downtown District, businesses, employees, and customers have the opportunity to give back in unique and impactful ways to local groups and organizations.

Annually, the campaign raises over $5,000 for local charities and plans to hit or exceed this amount again in 2019.  “Each year, we try something a little different to keep the giving campaign fresh and new. In the past we did a Giving Book, candy grams, and Mystery Giving Shop”, said Betsy Potter, Director of Creative Services for the Iowa City Downtown District. In addition to the dozens of direct donations from shops and customers during the campaign, this year for the 2019 season, the efforts have been expanded to include a Holiday Party, Escape Room, & Give-A-Bear tree.

“Our downtown businesses pride themselves on their year-round support of many, many community organizations, this campaign, specifically offers businesses, customers and visitors the opportunity to give over the holiday season by participating in fun events, activities and programming all for great community causes”, said Potter.

The Downtown Days of Giving 2019 schedule includes the following activities: 

  1. Holiday Escape Room November 15-21st, a holiday-themed escape room that is located at 104 S Dubuque in the Holiday Pop-Up Market sponsored by GreenState Credit Union. Escape Room times available: https://squareup.com/store/iowa-city-downtown-district/. All proceeds from the escape room will be going to the National Society for Black Engineers.
  2. Downtown Holiday Party- December 7th, a ticketed evening holiday party set at the new Chauncey building that will feature food prepared by Chef Hicham of Crepes de-luxe, drinks by Goosetown Cafe. More information and tickets: https://squareup.com/store/iowa-city-downtown-district/ . All proceeds from the Holiday Party will be going to United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties.
  3. Give A Bear- November 29-December 18th, at the Downtown Teddy Bear Room in the Hilton Garden Inn, attendees to the room will have the opportunity to purchase one of the bears for a family in the community via the “Give a Bear Tree”. Those wishing to give a bear, will take a tag off of the giving tree, and donate $8 or $15 at the front desk to have a bear donated to DVIP, ICPD, or Shelter House.
  4. Employee Giving Campaign- December 20th, Think Iowa City, Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City Area Chamber and Iowa City Downtown District have joined forces to host an employee giving campaign for their staff and boards. On December 20th, the four organizations will participate in a fun afternoon of employee giving at The Graduate Iowa City, Top Golf suites.

If anyone is looking to make direct donations towards the Downtown Days of Giving, they can do so online at https://squareup.com/store/iowa-city-downtown-district/item/downtown-days-of-giving-direct-donation-to-united-way.