The Byrne Endowment Fund was established by a member of the church, Dennis Byrne, who had a heart for missions and who was involved with many different mission trips during his lifetime. The proposals for grant funding are available to support United Methodist associated groups and individuals in mission work, with an emphasis on international work as well as local missions.

At this time our fall application process is open. We are only able to accept applications relating to international projects this fall. For full consideration, submit grant proposals by Thursday, November 11, 2021. You can find the application form here
If you have any questions please contact Lauren Loonsfoot If you are a past recipient and are looking for the project completion form you can find that here.

Current 2021 Recipients 

Dennis Byrd Endowment 2021 Fund recommendations April 2021

Total money to distribute: $52,873 

$17,624 Local/Sponsored by CW (1/3) $35,249 International related ministry  (2/3)

Money not distributed:$8,633- International related ministry (we will have another opportunity for applicants in the fall) 

Organization: Ames Sanctuary Interfaith Partners (ASIP)


ASIP set up the DACA Fund for Iowans who have not been able to pay the high government fee ($495) they are charged when they apply for a temporary legal reprieve from deportation (because they were children who fell between legal cracks in current government policy for foreigners seeking refuge in the USA). ASIP recognizes this grave injustice and seeks to provide support to as many as possible by raising and allocating money to qualified applicants. All current funds have been spent and dozens of young adults are waiting for needed assistance.

Recommended funds: $8,631 Category: Local


Organization: Iowa United Methodist Camps – Wesley Woods


Beacon lodge is a cabin that houses many at Wesley Woods throughout the year. It is centrally located which makes it perfect for young children and Exceptional Persons with mobility challenges. To create more indoor living space a three seasons porch was converted into an entrance back in the early 2000s. For some reason the project was started but never completed, leaving behind an unattractive facility that is dated and not consistent with the standards of Wesley Woods or Iowa United Methodist Camps. Because some of the floor was removed and not replaced it also presents a tripping hazard to those who have mobility challenges.

We propose to update flooring to the entire cabin making the floor consistent, level and safe from tripping hazards and appropriate for all guests. We also propose to replace the ineffective windows to decrease utility usage, update damaged paneling left over from water damage caused by poorly sealed windows, replace dated mattress covers and upgrade the light

fixtures that will provide a fresh/clean space for occupants. We also would like to add a small television to create a more welcome space for year-round guests. We believe that because of the functional (uneven flooring) and aesthetic limitations (incomplete flooring and lighting, poor mattress covers), Beacon is underutilized and could be one of our stronger facilities

that people would be excited to visit.

Recommended funds: $7,993 Category: Local/CW Sponsored 


Organization: Legal Aid Society of Story County


Our COURT/SERVICE FEES PROGRAM project has been highly successful, but needs to be replenished. All Legal Aid clients are at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). Many have no income. For cases including, but not limited to, divorce, child custody, and child support where our clients initiate the legal proceedings, they assume the burden of serving the original

notice on the respondent. This can be as simple as asking the respondent to sign an acknowledgment of service. However, if the respondent refuses to sign, it requires publication or service by a process server costing between $70-$100. This adds additional out of pocket cost to the client. Nearly 90% of our clients are at or below 100% of the FPL; an estimated 40% of them are in such financial hardship that these additional funds create an almost insurmountable obstacle. We cannot proceed with the case until we have these funds. The client risks having their case dismissed in Court if service is not effectuated. Previous limited grants permitted us to assist an average of 10 clients annually. The 2018 grant funds we received to cover client court

costs are running out. We have enough to last for the next 6 months with anticipated client needs and usage. After that, the progress we have been able to extend clients will disappear.

We respectfully request $1000 to continue the Court/Service Fees Program This will extend critical financial assistance to an additional 12-16 vulnerable clients with active civil cases.

Recommended funds: $1,000 Category: Local


Organization: United Mission to Nepal


This project will be implemented in Bajhang, Doti and Rukum East districts, three hilly working areas of UMN. Most people in these districts are dependent in the traditional agricultural and have minimal access to government services due to the illiteracy, and lack of exposures.

Due to accidents, burns and congenital deformities, Persons with Disabilities (PwD) face challenges to do their activities of daily living (ADL) independently. ADLs consist of self-care tasks such as dressing, toilet hygiene, showering, taking food and walking etc. With limited independent ADL, PWD are further excluded from community participation. UMN’s 2017 disability study found that PwD and their family members are unaware about the causes and consequences of disability and less than 6% of PwD have access to appropriate medical intervention and assistive devices. 

To address these situations, this project will work to increase the access of PwD (under 18 years) to medical rehabilitation services through the supports including

  1. a) early detection of cases in communities,
  2. b) counselling and assessments,
  3. c) diagnosis of the problem,
  4. d) support for treatment and surgical operations, support of physio-exercises and assistive devices,
  5. e) education to the guardians of PwD on prevention of disability and care of their diagnosed cases,
  6. f) and facilitation support to the families to build their housing accessible and disability friendly.

In the case of wheelchair users, these supports will be provided to all aged people.

Recommended funds: $26,616 Category: International