Posts Tagged: Fall 2016 Inspire(d) Magazine

What We’re Loving: 100+ Women (and Men) Who Care

We’re Loving:
100+ Women Who Care Oneota Valley /
100+ Men Who Care Driftless

Two organizations – 100+ Men Who Care Driftless / 100+Women Who Care Oneota Valley – have sprouted from Northeast Iowa in the past year, both with a common goal: Supporting local non-profit organizations with one-time large-impact donations.

Both 100+ groups are part of the 100 Who Care Alliance, a nationwide organization that was developed by a group of people who wanted to make a big impact on their communities in the most efficient way possible. The idea is that a group of men or women get together once per quarter, listen to an informal two-minute presentation about three separate local nonprofit organizations (submitted by members), and then vote on one charity to receive the donation. Then each person writes a check for $100 to the chosen cause, and you multiply that times 100 people (or however many folks are there!) for a truly great donation to a local non-profit (that often doesn’t even know it’s being nominated)! Donations are tax deductible too, since the organizations chosen must be 501(c)(3).

We realize $100 donations aren’t something everyone can do, but the concept is a great way for a group of folks to make an impact, and we love that! And, according to the 100+ Women Who Care Oneota Valley Facebook page, if $100 is too big of a financial commitment, groups of two women can form and each donate $50 or groups of four women can be organized and each donate $25.

The next 100+Women Who Care Oneota Valley event is coming up October 2, 2017! Check out the event details here

The next100+ Men Who Care Driftless , meeting is scheduled for November 14. (keep an eye on Facebook  for more info!)

Driftless Area Barn Sales!

barn sales

Driftless ‘pickers’ hit up area barn sales for some vintage fun

By Aryn Henning Nichols • Photos courtesy Ashley Dull Lindeman

When you hear the word barn, you don’t usually think, “shopping!” Or fun, for that matter.

In this farm-rich Driftless community, barns usually equal livestock, tractors, equipment… work! But for Donna and Dave Dull, of the rural Postville area, barns hold secrets of the past and new projects for the future.

“We have always enjoyed collecting, some of our buildings on the farm are pretty full,” says Donna. She and Dave started the popular bed and breakfast Little House on the Farm and Guest Barn back in 2009, so they’re no strangers to repurposing stuff, including the barns on their once hog and dairy now hobby-farm.

“A couple years ago we cleaned and repaired our 100-year-old dairy barn for our daughter’s wedding reception. Afterwards we thought, ‘Now, what?’” Donna says. “This beautiful barn needed a new life.”

“We feel all things should be given a chance to have new life,” she continues. “We were able to use and salvage some of our items for our bed and breakfast…turning old into new, and we’re both quite frugal…we hate to throw anything out! This, together with our love of barns, equals barn sale!”

barn sales

Barn what? Yep, barn sale.

Barn sales are becoming popular throughout the region and beyond. Folks interested in “picking” – i.e. finding treasures amongst piles and piles of stuff stored in old barns, sheds, basements, houses, etc., much like those Le Claire, Iowa, guys on the show American Pickers – are crazy about this sort of thing. And why not? It’s fun! But actual barn sales are quite a bit more organized. Vendors come together with their farm finds, antiques, vintage, junk, up-cycled or recycled treasures, pallet and barn-board furniture, and more.

“Think chippy paint and rust…all waiting to be salvaged and given new life. If you’re a vintage lover, a junker, or a fixer upper…we’ve gotcha covered,” Donna says of their sale, The Big Barn Vintage Market. “And if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, don’t worry! There are items that have been ‘cleaned up a bit’ – and ready to use.”

barn sales

The first Big Barn Vintage Market was held May of 2016 – the Dulls hosted seven vendors on site, and roughly 400 people came from near and as far away as Chicago and Des Moines. The upcoming Big Barn Vintage Market in October will be a “touch of fall and a hint of winter”. Nine vendors will be selling “barn-style” finds this time around, and there will be an all-new “General Store” in the Big Barn. There, a few more vendors will have items for sale like pure maple syrup, hand woven rugs, photos and prints of old barns, and more. On top of all that, there’s music, food, and tours of the Little House and Guest Barn Bed and Breakfast!

Most barn sales are only open once or twice a year, so make sure to mark your calendars if you’re hoping to venture out to a farm this year for some hard work shopping fun!

Check it all out at one of these annual fall barn sales in the area:

The Barn on 128, Garnavillo, Iowa
Country Boy Salvage Barn Sale, Nashua, Iowa
The Market at White Barn Sale, Hawkeye, Iowa

Coming up Fall 2016:

Farmhouse Market Barn Sale, Tipton, Iowa – October  15
Kathy’s Barn, Marshalltown, Iowa – October 22-23
Big Barn Vintage Market, rural Postville – October 29
The Barn at Bugle Plain, Elgin, Minnesota – October 27-29 & November 3-5
The Barn, Wellman, Iowa – November 4 (Christmas sale)

For more of a permanent-style barn sale, check out Lanesboro Barn Sale – Junkmarket and Designs

Do you know of another sale near you? Let us know!

Electing for Change: Why Vote?


By Aryn Henning Nichols

There are many boards, committees, and political offices that rely on local volunteers. And these positions do so much to guide how your community moves forward. Do you have opinions about things happening in your town? The answer is, very likely, yes. Why not get involved so you can make those opinions better known?

electing_votebuttonNot up for that? It’s cool! You know what’s super easy? Voting. Seriously – you can even get your ballot mailed to you (absentee ballots). And then – if you’re like me and aren’t sure about the lesser-publicized election contests – you can research each candidate and their platforms as you vote. Because it’s those contests down the ballot that often impact your lives and communities even more.

We are so lucky we live in a society where we get to vote – we Americans get a say in how our lives are run (even if it doesn’t always seem like it)! It’s pretty cool.

Looking for a quick and easy reference? Check out Enter your address and it will show you a sample ballot for 2016. Then you can click on the people running and learn what they’re all about. Then click on through to candidates own websites to learn more.

It feels great to make educated decisions, and it feels great to know more about topics that are important to local and state-level constituents. You are one of those constituents! Let your voices be heard, friends. And not just every four years! Pay attention, share your ideas, and together we can all make this community, region, state, country…world…a better place!

XOXO – Aryn