Rhonda Goes the Extra Mile to Build Messerly Day Care in Mooreland

posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

When Rhonda heard her church of 60 years was going to be torn down, she stepped up, bought it for a single dollar, and built a day care.

“Rhonda saw a need in her community and jumped on it, no questions asked,” said Ali Kraber, a representative of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “That is an Iowa story, and we are so lucky to be able to share it.”

Maria, an employee of Iowa Select Farms, nominated Rhonda's Messerly Day Care to receive a Little Farmer Toy Box to say thanks for her dedication.

As we delivered the box to the church-now-turned-day care, we saw just how much dedication Rhonda, her husband and the community put into making a need an actual reality. To this day, that passion of filling a need carries on as Rhonda cares for little ones in the community with the help of her sister, Sam.

“Rhonda and Sam are so wonderful and flexible to work with, and so hands-on,” said Maria. “They are always sending me photos of what my son is doing during the day. They make special crafts and gifts for mom and dads around the holidays and go above and beyond what they have to do. I know that my son is in the best and safest care with Rhonda and Sam, and I wouldn’t be able to do my job without them.”

As we opened all the new toys and talked about the extensive work that turned an old church into a new day care, Rhonda shared the challenges of COVID-19 and the havoc all the extra cleaning put on the toys and materials.

“The last two years of having to do extra bleaching and cleaning to keep the kids as safe as possible from COVID-19 have really taken a toll, and we've had to throw so much away,” said Rhonda. “Most of the toys we've brought from home or we pay out of pocket for some new toys when we can, which is so rare. Many just don’t realize how much of our own money we put back into our day care. To have a toy donation like this means a lot to us. I just really appreciate the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation for thinking of us and giving us such a meaningful donation.”

a group photo by the toybox

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