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Family Legacy of Generosity Provides Generational Impact for Women and Girls

November 25, 2020

According to Mona Reed, she and her husband, Wallace “Wally” Reed, lived by the motto, “live life to its fullest.” The couple married in 1960 and started their life together in Waterloo, where Wally followed in his father’s, Harry, footsteps as a lawyer, and in community involvement. Upon Wally’s retirement in 1980, the Reeds and their children, Thom and Anne, moved to Florida, living on sailboats and sailing the world before building their dream home in North Carolina.

While they left Waterloo, their love of the community never left them. Wally’s family history is deeply intertwined with the city’s, with his mother Elizabeth Black Reed being the daughter of James Black. Mr. Black was an early pillar of the business and philanthropic community, starting James Black Dry Goods Company and building the historic Black’s Building in downtown Waterloo.

The trait of generosity was passed down to Wally’s parents, who, as Mona recalled, felt that they were blessed with advantages and wanted to give back to their community. This was also the attitude that Wally and Mona lived by and carried out in the legacy they left.

Wally passed away in 2015. Upon Mona’s death on July 14, 2020, the long legacy of family generosity was extended through the establishment of the Harry M. and Elizabeth B. Reed Fund with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. The fund is an endowed designated fund supporting the Waterloo-based nonprofit House of Hope.

“There was a lot of excitement and surprise when we found out about the gift,” said Dusky Steele, House of Hope development coordinator. “It’s huge for House of Hope because it helps solidify the sustainability of our future.”

House of Hope provides a 2-year transitional program for homeless single women with children. The program provides support and personalized case management to women to help them identify and attain changes they must make to achieve self-sufficiency for their families. The organization’s Pillars program also offers transitional housing for young adults transitioning out of the foster care system. House of Hope has been providing critical service in the Cedar Valley for 25 years.

The fund established through the Reed’s estate will provide House of Hope with an approximately $24,000 grant every year, growing over time through responsible investment strategies guided by CFNEIA.

“There is a definite connection this type of legacy gift has to the long-lasting generational impacts that happen at House of Hope,” said Dusky. “Everyone here is extremely passionate about our mission. We believe in it and see it working every day. To have someone else believe in it so much too that they would give this kind of gift is incredibly heartwarming.”

Learn how you can start your own legacy at