Bridging the Gap

Bridging the GapLocal volunteers Kyle Potratz, left, and Zach Lemburg load up a bed to deliver to a child in need as a part of the Bridging the Gap Program.

Can you imagine your child going to bed each night on a cold, drafty floor? Think about the impact that would have on his or her ability to learn at school each day. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of families living in houses or apartments in the Fort Dodge and Webster County area without the basic necessities of a home, including beds, dressers, couches, kitchen tables, dishes and more. This need was the catalyst for starting the Bridging the Gap program.

Bridging the Gap is a program managed and sponsored by the United Way of Greater Fort Dodge designed to “bridge the gap” between families working hard but struggling to make ends meet and those wanting to donate items no longer being used, such as furniture and household items that may be taking up space and collecting dust in basements, attics and garages. The end goal is to ensure that every child in the community has a bed to sleep in, a couch to relax on and a kitchen table and chairs to sit and enjoy meals.

We accept donations of household items and gently used furniture that can make a house a home, and these items are distributed to needy families in the area at no charge. Families receiving assistance through Bridging the Gap are referred to us by other social service agencies in the greater Fort Dodge area to ensure that the families receiving items are genuinely “in need.”

In just three years since its inception, the Bridging the Gap program has donated over 1,000 beds to children in need. While the program has been largely successful and the community is moving in the right direction, the demand for donated items is still ever present and continues to grow all the time. 

How can you help? Take a look around your home to identify the household items, furniture and small appliances still in decent condition that you no longer need, and make a call to the Bridging the Gap Coordinator, Julie Piton, at 515.573.3180. You can either make an appointment to drop off items, or we can have our volunteers pick up your items so you don't even have to leave your home. Items we currently have the greatest need for are beds, dressers, kitchen tables and chairs.

If you don't have any items to currently donate but are still looking to get involved with Bridging the Gap, there is also a need for volunteers to help pick up and deliver items. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact the Bridging the Gap Coordinator, 515.573.3180.

Donating the unused items cluttering your home, offering financial support or even volunteering your time can make a huge impact on a child in the community. The donation of a bed to a child in need means a better night's sleep for them, waking up each day more prepared for school and in turn, hope for a brighter future.

Making a difference in someone's life has never been easier. Contact Julie Piton at 515.573.3180 or