Record Year Brings New Opportunities

United Way project to lift 25 families out of poverty

Record Year Brings New Opportunities

United Way of Central Iowa announced last month that they raised a record-breaking $27.5 million in their 2013 campaign - $200,000 over their goal.  The organization raised $900,000 more than last year and received donations from 42,000 individuals, a testament to the generosity of the Des Moines community and to broad community support for UWCI.  This incredible show of support will enable the organization to continue funding the great work of its community partners and to further its mission in new ways.

UWCI President Mary Sellers says, “The success of this year’s campaign means United Way and its partner organizations can enhance our results-driven work in the important community priorities of education, income and health.”  The newest enhancement is a demonstration project called the Central Iowa HOPE Initiative that will offer “whatever it takes” to lift 25 Central Iowa single-parent families out of poverty.  By focusing on single-parent families, the program aims for an intergenerational impact – ending poverty in the next generation before it can begin.

True to its name, (HOPE stands for Health, Opportunity, Prosperity, and Education) the initiative integrates various community programs into a comprehensive approach to ending poverty.  Each of the families to be selected in the coming months will receive a variety of services from four UWCI partner agencies according to their individual needs.  These services could be case management, job training, legal aid, mental health services, or help paying for childcare, rent, utilities, or food. 

The HOPE Initiative is a demonstration project, meaning that UWCI has never before offered a program like it.  Whether the project continues into the future depends on the outcomes it achieves this year.  This is a bold initiative that has the potential to benefit families in our region for years to come.  Keep watching the United Way website this year to see more information as the program develops!