Greenland Homes Pays it Forward to Children’s Cancer Connection

For the third year, Greenland Homes of Clive has given back to the community in a big way in a manner it knows best. The company has built a new home each of the three years and donated all the proceeds to the Children’s Cancer Connection. Families are then selected to receive the homes.

The company’s latest donation to the charity whose mission “serves all families affected by childhood cancer who are living, treated, or diagnosed in the state of Iowa, regardless of the treatment outcome” was $70,000. Over the three years, the builder has contributed a total of $195,000. This past year’s home was built in Bondurant, and a family now lives in it.

“It all began as we were looking for a charity to support, and we felt that it had to be a local one, serving central Iowa. It just felt right to do that,” says Corey Kautz of Greenland Homes. “When we interviewed a family living with childhood cancer, we knew we found the right spot.”

The proceeds for the donation come from donated supplies, Coldwell Banker Realtor Tammy Heckart’s commission, contractors’ labor, and the builder’s profit.

Personal perspective

Kautz says it helps that Heckart had some personal experience with the organization, which had helped her family. “My nephew Dillon at age 4 had cancer, and we saw how much support meant to the family,” she explains. “Besides Dillon’s medical support, his brother Dustin went to siblings’ camp at Camp Heart Connection, the only weeklong summer camp for children with cancer in Iowa, which was most helpful, too. The whole family drew so much help from the organization that it has been important to give back.”

Dillon, now grown and healthy, has been a camp counselor, his way of giving back to the organization that helped his family.

“Last year our donation paid for the entire camp program for the summer and sponsored a few special events,” Heckart says. “I have been to dinner at the camp, and it’s so rewarding, knowing that we could help.”

Children’s Cancer Connection began in 1988. It serves children and families affected by childhood cancer by offering hospital-based programs, support services, camps, and recreation opportunities. The focus is on the entire family for the entire journey.

Support for families

The nonprofit organization offers support groups for parents, siblings, teens, and young adults; oncology and sibling summer camps; survivorship service; scholarships; and various resource and educational materials, according to Emily Fish, the director of donor relations.

She says, “Tammy Heckart and Corey Kautz with Greenland Homes have helped to move Children’s Cancer Connection in a truly new direction. Their continued support of our organization has made an impact on all four of our cornerstone programs. Greenland Homes’ contractors and vendors have made a vital contribution toward making Children’s Cancer Connection the organization that provides children and families with programs, education, recreation, and support on the journey through childhood cancer. We are truly honored to have Tammy, Corey, the Greenland Homes staff, and all the contractors as part of our family. They have made a difference in the lives of our children and families.”

“We have gotten lots of letters from kids who have experienced the camp program and have loved it” Kautz says. “Hearing from them is the real icing on the cake. That’s what makes this all worthwhile.”

Will they do it again? “Each year, our superintendent, Steve Gruver, calls a meeting to discuss the next year’s plans. Originally we were only going to do this for one year. We have now done it for three. We’ll make the decision for next year in the spring.”