United Way of Central Iowa invested an additional $518,848 back into the community to respond to current critical community needs.

United Way of Central Iowa recently invested $518,848 in 26 of its nonprofit partners across Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties in response to the continuing needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second distribution of the total $1.8 million planned for COVID-19 relief, which is in addition to the total investment of $22.2 million United Way of Central Iowa is distributing into the community this fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

The COVID-19-related investments aim to meet the community’s most pressing needs by supporting United Way of Central Iowa’s nonprofit partners and, ultimately, the most vulnerable central Iowans they serve in the areas of essential needs (housing, food, legal services); mental health; safety and health supplies; technology; and return-to-learn support for students and families from underserved communities.

“United Way of Central Iowa recognizes the incredible work our fellow central Iowa nonprofit organizations have been accomplishing in response to the increased community needs,” said Renée Miller, Chief Community Impact Officer at United Way of Central Iowa. “Many are modifying programs, shifting focus to meet more immediate needs, or developing new service delivery models to reach those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

In a survey conducted by United Way of Central Iowa of its nonprofit partners and United Way funded programs, of those who responded:

  • 22 percent of the programs are operating over 100 percent capacity,
  • 46 percent report having on-going unmet needs as a result of the pandemic,
  • 52 percent continue to operate with modifications to their programming, and
  • 48 percent anticipate the impact this pandemic has had on the financial conditions of their organization will have long-term implications.

United Way of Central Iowa prioritizes responsible stewardship of donor dollars. As with all of our community investments, the decisions for this recent investment was made based on the advice and direction of community experts in the organization’s five elements of a thriving community: essential needs, early childhood success, education success, economic opportunity, and health and well-being. Union members, corporate donors, community leaders, individuals from philanthropic and community organizations, along with others from the community selected the local organizations receiving these additional funds.

The nonprofit partners receiving funds include:

  • ArtForce Iowa
  • Bidwell Riverside Child Care Center
  • By Degrees
  • Capitol Park Early Learning Center, Inc.
  • Catholic Charities
  • Children & Families of Iowa
  • City of West Des Moines – Youth Justice Initiative
  • Community Youth Concepts
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Eat Greater Des Moines
  • EveryStep
  • Grand View Child Development Center
  • Highland Park Community Development Association
  • Hispanic Educational Resources, Inc.
  • Home Opportunities Made Easy, Inc.
  • Iowa Legal Aid
  • NAMI of Greater Des Moines
  • Oakridge Neighborhood Services
  • Perry Child Development Center
  • Polk County Financial Empowerment Center
  • Polk County Housing Trust Fund
  • Primary Health Care
  • Project Iowa
  • Willkie House
  • Wonder Years Child Development Center

We know these dedicated investments will support the delivery of critical in-person or virtual services and programming right now for the children, adults, and families in our region who may not otherwise receive it. It’s an incredible example of the caring power of our community and we are grateful to everyone in our community who helped make this happen for central Iowa.

Topics: covid-19

Elisabeth Buck

Written by Elisabeth Buck

Elisabeth Buck is the former President of United Way of Central Iowa.