Written by Iowa team members, Heartland Self-Advocacy Resource Network

Building social capital by forming ongoing relationships with many local businesses and service providers helps our organization and the community.

Peer Action Disability Support (PADS) is a long-standing, all-inclusive disability organization in Iowa. It has hosted annual ADA celebrations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the past several years. The social capital of the ADA celebration has been building year after year. Much of the celebration’s success is due to the use of this social capital.

The ADA Celebration Committee has a list of tried and true sponsors that we maintain contact with throughout the year. Sponsors include local businesses like banks, local employers, restaurants, and disability service providers. One of the bigger sponsors is the Witwer Trust Grant provided by the Linn County Board of supervisors. Thanks to its own fund-raising success, PADS has contributed $2000 every year since 2008.

The ADA celebration also benefits from in-kind donations from the Cedar Rapids community, which can vary from year to year. Donations have come from Marriott Hotels, supermarkets, Rockwell Collins Corporation, and many volunteers.

After each celebration, the committee sends out heart-felt thank-you notes to all who helped make the event a success. Building, maintaining and expanding social capital for our organization has been very important and also benefits the larger community.