The Cedar Rapids Jaycees are a volunteer, nonprofit community organization with a mission to develop opportunities that empower young people to create positive change in our community.

You might know them from the Uptown Friday Nights Concerts held at McGrath Amphitheatre most summers in Cedar Rapids. The pandemic has changed the way they are able to hold that event this year after a virtual version kicked the season off back in June.

They want to encourage the community to join them in their latest project, helping those pandemic heroes who have been on the frontlines saving lives and protecting the health and safety of those who need it most--sometimes sacrificing their own needs to do so.

Every year, the Jaycees host a First Responders BBQ.

This Saturday, July 18, you can drop off a donation from 9 a.m. to noon at the Jaycees Center (225 5th Ave SW). This will be a no-contact community event and they'd appreciate donations of things like:

  • Bottled water, iced tea, lemonade, etc.
  • Cans of soda
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Chips
  • Hot dogs
  • Burger patties
  • HyVee gift cards
  • Wal Mart/Target gift cards

If you have any questions or wish to arrange another time to deliver your donations on or after July 18th, please contact our BBQ Director, Pedro Pepe Cruz-Diloné, at

Learn more on a Facebook page they've set up, and if you can help provide the resources these great community groups need and deserve, your donation will be appreciated.

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