About

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The Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non profit.

Please contact Suzanne Hull at dmehaorg@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more about DMEHA.

DMEHA Mission Statement

We connect Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and we support cultural heritage organizations with resources and tools to maintain and grow their memberships.

DMEHA Vision Statement

To become Iowa’s go-to resource for European cultural heritage: history, language and culture.

Settled by European immigrants more than 150 years ago, Iowa has a strong European heritage: the Dutch in Pella, the Danes in Elk Horn, the Czechs in Cedar Rapids, etc. European immigrants denounced their heritage when they arrived to assimilate to their new home. Their descendants now have a desire to understand where they came from and to celebrate their roots. Christkindlmarket Des Moines will revive the community’s interest in European cultures and drive interest in DMEHA and the numerous cultural organizations across Iowa. We believe diversity is inclusive of all cultures; Christkindlmarket Des Moines is a way to remind the community of our rich diversity.

DMEHA gives committee members the platform to express their cultural interests. Our fundraising events allow members to share their passion for European culture, cuisine, music and traditions with the Greater Des Moines community. Volunteers include employees of the following organizations: US Small Business Administration, Beaverdale Confections, The Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, EMC Life Insurance, Body Wisdom Massage School, Keller Williams, Des Moines Public Schools, Whittle Consulting Group, PAW Marketing, Inc, Central College and Drake University.

We rely heavily on our members to identify needs they have in their lives and in their communities. Example: One of our volunteers, an American national, and her husband, a German national, recently relocated to Des Moines from Germany with their three children. The oldest requires formal German language instruction. This volunteer is conducting surveys to identify the need and feasibility for native-speaker instruction for local children and will organize informal playgroups this year leading up to a more formal language school in 2017. This supports our mission to promote language education.

There are several local European cultural organizations which are not formally incorporated and whose members are aging. They may not have experience growing member organizations nor do they have their non-profit, tax-exempt status, which limits their organization’s activities. One of our goals in 2017 is to develop, pitch and implement service offerings to cultural organizations around Central Iowa.

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