By Darlene Terrill, Regional Administrator of Iowa Operations
Family Alliance for Veterans of America (FAVA) gained a dedicated employee when Barbara “Barb” Ruiter started in October of 2013. She is the first contact for many that enter the office looking for assistance and the primary person to answer the incoming calls. She knows absolutely everyone in town as she is also the Mayor of Forest City, Iowa’s wife.
Barb has done the data entry required for our Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to keep us compliant with our federal grant reporting. Of course, we all have many other duties as required in our job descriptions. So, Barb assisted in writing and receiving small grant opportunities that have built thousands of consistent dollars for the match needs in our grants. She has also led the way for fundraising activities and was the person behind organizing our locally adored chili cook-off and silent auction events prior to the pandemic. Adjustments were made and the team decided to do a drive-through chili fundraiser and the locals came to continue their support of our fundraising for the Veterans and families that we serve. During the pandemic, she also came up with an out-of-the-box idea to present the Not a Gala fundraiser and wrote many letters to get donations for specific needs.
Barb’s family has also been a major part of donating money, time, and goods to the Veterans in our programs. She was FAVA’s representative at the Chamber of Commerce for many years until her term ended.
We are so proud to acknowledge all of the good work that Barb has done. She will be missed by our team, Veterans, volunteers, community partners, and stakeholders. We wish Barb a peaceful retirement full of shopping, travels, relaxation, and fun. Thank you, Barb, for all that you have done for FAVA and the Veterans that we serve!