Feb 12, 2021 9:53:54 AM

Celebrating Joyann Benoit

United Way of Central Iowa and its United55+ program has had the pleasure of working with Joyann Benoit, a life-long Des Moines resident, for more than 20 years. She retired from volunteering at the start of this year.

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Jun 5, 2018 5:16:54 PM

A Book Buddy celebration for this first-year volunteer

Deb Bremser volunteers to read with four-year-old students at two child care centers during the school year. Here she shares her Book Buddy experience:

When Isaac and I first started reading together as Book Buddies, he didn’t enjoy the experience. 

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Apr 12, 2018 6:01:48 PM

Real Men Never Stop Reading

Books were once the exclusive domain of men. As recently as the 19th and early 20th century, women in this country were discouraged from reading, and some were not even taught or allowed to go to school.

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Nov 9, 2017 9:25:16 AM

Giving Garden Volunteer Rolls Up Her Sleeves to Give Back

This spring, when Arlette Mueller entered her Telligen office, she saw seedlings growing in trays across her coworker's desk. Soon, she would join the group of 20 volunteers who would plant those seedlings in the garden outside the Telligen building. Through the summer, she would take her turn to water and weed, and then into the fall, harvest the vegetables that would be delivered to the DMARC food pantry.

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Apr 27, 2017 5:16:38 PM

Honor to Read

On the first day of Power Read last fall, 5-year-old Honor was in tears, grabbing books out of his mentor’s hands as he tried to read.

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Mar 22, 2017 9:07:34 AM

A Lifetime's Purpose

Renee Hardman is so passionate about volunteering that she tears up talking about it.

“I have always thought there was a purpose for our lives here on this earth,” she said. “That purpose is to live beyond ourselves and to always reach back and pull someone else along.”

For 30 minutes every Thursday morning, Renee reads with four-year-olds at Oakridge Academy as part of Book Buddy, a United Way-led initiative to reach children in the critical year before kindergarten. The volunteer program engaged 135 mentors to read at local preschools last year.

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Nov 1, 2016 9:02:16 AM

Taxation Without Trepidation

Seven years ago, Amina Nuhanović was laid off from her job as a CPA. She didn’t sulk. Her experience coming to Iowa as a Bosnian refugee at the age of 13 had taught her to be strong in the face of adversity, to keep going no matter what.

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Oct 2, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Power Read ROCKS!

There are a lot of things a six-year-old can do with a bag of rocks. Build a castle. Lay out an imaginary battle. Roll them around like cars. Learn to read. That last one is what Bill, a kindergartner at Norwood Elementary in Des Moines, did with the help of his mentor Larry Collins.

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