Aisha faced a shattering decision: acquire a husband three times her age or forfeit her family and her country. Those were the options her father presented her with in the remote Nuba Mountains of Sudan—one of the most isolated regions in the world. She was a 16-year-old from Des Moines.
Jess and Tim McCulloh started giving to United Way through their workplace at the same time they started their careers. Today, as leaders in their companies, they are the ones asking others to give back and are helping lead the direction in which United Way’s dollars are invested in the community.
After her daughter was tragically murdered here, Debra moved to Des Moines to take care of final affairs. But her housing plans fell through, and the veteran found herself on the streets—somewhere she never expected to be.
After a childhood spent in foster care, Cecelia got pregnant while still in high school. Scavo's Teddy Bear Town, funded by Women United, provided high-quality child care to Ezequiel while she earned her diploma.
Jessenia, a 15-year-old freshman, attends Empowerment Groups at the Young Women's Resource Center to find her voice, boost her confidence, learn about feminism and women's health, and, most importantly, make friends that will support her through the tough high school years.
United Way started the Real Men Read program so that kids could see more men modeling good reading skills and serving as mentors. Jon Sullivan, a retired lawyer from Ankeny, stepped right up to the challenge.
After losing everything to Hurricane Maria, Soleil and Juan moved from Puerto Rico to Des Moines, where a friend introduced them to MyFreeTaxes—a free online filing service provided by United Way and H&R Block.