211 is United Way’s trusted information and referral service that provides expert, caring help to meet your needs. No matter the situation, the help navigators at 211 listen, identify underlying problems and connect people in need with resources and services in our community that improve their lives.
5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices
5-2-1-0 promotes healthy habits at child care centers, schools, health care clinics, and homes, where kids spend a lot of time. The program encourages healthy habits through actions such as giving every child a water bottle, revising birthday celebration policies to have costume parties, and purchasing equipment that allows teachers to incorporate movement into learning.
The ACEs toolkit helps organizations and service providers identify various types of trauma, recognize how events from childhood may be shaping peoples' responses and provide guidance to help them address these challenges.
Bridges to Success
Bridges to Success aims to help central Iowa adults earn a high school equivalency diploma. The initiative provides adult learners with free classes, coaching, testing, books, and a career coach to help students succeed and plan for their future.
Building New Careers
The Building New Careers program serves to identify, screen, assess, and recruit low-income adults for entry into one of 18 apprenticeships with the Building and Construction Trades.
Central Iowa Works
Central Iowa Works connects
employers seeking to fill jobs with
talented workers who can earn a
living wage. This initiative is working to train 500 central Iowans for jobs in health care, support individuals returning from prison in gaining employment and rebuilding their lives, and help local retailers build career pathways to increase
Corporate and Community Giving Gardens promote and provide access to local produce for low-income central Iowans by growing, harvesting and/or rescuing unused food to be distributed to those in need.
HOPE For Stable Families
HOPE for Stable Families works with central Iowa families each year to set goals, remove barriers, and find support in moving out of poverty to long-term financial stability. The initiative is unique in that it provides comprehensive support to parents and children at the same time, also known as a 2Gen approach.
Powered by Purpose
Powered by Purpose is a free online resource designed to help individuals and organizations explore the meaning of purpose, discover their own unique purpose and put it into action in their life and workplace.
OpportUNITY is a collective impact initiative focused on fighting poverty in central Iowa. Eight issue-focused work groups are addressing barriers and creating new opportunities for low-income individuals to raise themselves out of poverty. More than 2,000 nonprofits, businesses, and community members have signed on to support the plan.
READ to Succeed
READ to SUCCEED is a groundbreaking, community-wide awareness and action campaign to help kids read proficiently by third grade. There are multiple ways you can get involved in this effort: donating books, building literacy kits, reading to children, advocating for summer reading programs and more.
Skills 2 Compete
The Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition is a statewide partnership of Iowa’s business, community, education, labor, legislative, and workforce development leaders to serve as an organized voice for “skills” at the state capitol and builds more policymaker support for state policies that grow Iowa’s economy by investing in its workforce.
Summer Youth Employment Program
The Summer Youth Experience Program (SYEP) seeks to make a difference for local youth by providing them with work-readiness training and workplace experience. An eight-week, paid, part-time work experience program during the summer for youth in Des Moines, SYEP gives youth as young as 14 work exposure they might need in the future and a chance to explore interest in different careers.
Vision to Learn
Vision To Learn provides two free pairs of eyeglasses (one pair to take home and one to leave at school) to students who need them. A trained eye care professional provides a modified screening exam with a full refraction for students who would otherwise not receive vision care.