Day of Action

Imagine ending your workday confident that you improved others' lives. That your day's volunteer experience was a gift to yourself and to others. This win-win captures United Way's Day of Action. And Tuesday, September 17th is the date this is happening. Over 2,000 volunteers strong!
Volunteers chose from one of United Way's three signature volunteer projects that align with community Goals for 2020 in education, income and health, or select from a variety of projects that benefit broader nonprofit partner needs in central Iowa.
The key is to take action. To volunteer. Or better yet, to organize a team of volunteers! The choice to help is yours. In a single day, you can improve others' lives.  

 United Way of Central Iowa invites you to participate in three featured Day of Action signature projects:


United Way's Read Learn Succeed

Across the Des Moines metro area in schools where reading proficiency is particularly low, third graders are awaiting your arrival. They know today is special. Special because today, you’re going to read the book Penny Pot with one of these students and help her or him with visualizing the amount of coins being counted in the book. Your involvement will help them build their skills and confidence. Not convinced this is for you? Maybe this will change your mind.  Don’t miss the chance to not only help third graders’ reading skills, but also have a wonderful time with those delightful young people! Registration is closed for September 2013, check back in August 2014 for next year!


Graduation Walk (Formerly known as Reach Out to Dropouts)

Last year 617 central Iowa high school students dropped out. They’re on a path to earn $696,600 less over the course of a lifetime. That is unless you reach out to them. All it takes is one hour of training on Tuesday, September 17th, a Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon on September 21st, and a willingness to show that you care. Sign up to be on a team of volunteers from the community and Des Moines Public Schools. Together, you’ll follow up with high school students who have dropped out of Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) or who are at risk of dropping out because of lack of credits. What? Knock on the door of a dropout’s home? If this doesn’t sound like it’s for you, maybe this 2012 volunteer will prompt you to reconsider. Convinced now? Register here for Graduation Walk.


Dressers for Kids

Kids who live in violence often flee with the abused parent with very little. Freedom from abuse and a safe environment is what they seek. Together we can give them more! To begin their new life, Day of Action's Dressers for Kids will assemble 300 dressers that ensure each child who is moving out of a domestic violence shelter in central Iowa has something to call their own. 300 dressers, we say? Yes, and that takes 300 volunteers. Concerned that you don't have the skills?  Just watch how simple it is! You'll work alongside another volunteer and our tech crew will be ready to assist.  Working together with FreeStore, Dressers for Kids will benefit 300 children in the coming year. Registration is closed for September 2013, check back in August 2014 for next year!


It's Alarming!

Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble and eventually for dropping out of high school.  Nationwide, as many as 10-15% of students miss nearly a month of school every year.   Poor attendance isn’t just a problem in high school.  It can start as early as kindergarten.  Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of school year.  Developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success on the job and in life.  The good news is that chronic absence is a problem we can solve.  One simple way is to make sure students wake up on time each morning.  United Way is partnering with Des Moines Public Schools to collect and distribute 600 alarm clocks to students in grades K-12 as part of Attendance Awareness Month. Registration is closed for September 2013, check back in August 2014 for next year!



Day of Action general projects

Companies are asked to organize teams of four to 20 employees for Day of Action projects that can be completed in just a few hours. These projects cover a variety of interests and will benefit United Way nonprofit partners throughout Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties.

Some examples of past projects include: 

  • Painting a room at a shelter
  • Hosting a back-to-school picnic
  • Helping with lawn and landscape work at a school or United Way nonprofit partner


Registration is closed for September 2013, check back in August 2014 for next year!


If you are interested in participating you can download the Company Roles and Responsibilities and Volunteer Project Leader Checklist, which will assist in your planning of a successful event.

For more information contact Kris Zimmerman.