United Way Programs

Bridging the Gap

Description: imagesWe connect disadvantaged families in need with available resources through an easy and simple process. We accept donations of household items, beds, and gently used furniture that can make a house a home. These items are distributed to needy families including families coming out of shelters that have almost nothing. These donated items touch the lives of many needy families in a meaningful way.

Beds for Kids

This program provides free beds to low income families where children lack beds and are sleeping on floors or couches. Getting children off of drafty floors and providing them with a bed helps them get a good night’s sleep and be more prepared for school. Getting good, sound sleep is a critical part of healthy child development and can makes all the difference in the world for these children in poverty-stricken families.

Homelessness Prevention

United Way helps families with children from becoming another homeless statistic. United Way works closely with our partner agencies to help struggling young families stay in their homes or find stable housing. What greater, life-changing impact can have when we help a homeless mother find affordable housing and establish a stable home for her children.

Humanitarian Fund

This fund provides financial assistance for families experiencing a major crisis and need emergency assistance for shelter, food, clothing, medical care, etc. Be it a house fire, a car accident, or any personal injury accident or other unexpected emergencies, United Way is there to extend a helping hand.

Hope for Healing Fund

The Hope for Healing Fund provides vitally-needed financial support to children and their families whose medical problems are not funded by insurance or other sources and they need assistance in dealing with costs associated with accessing critical health care services. Be it assistance for prescription drugs or travel assistance to a medical center for major surgery, this support will make a real and lasting difference in the quality of life of disadvantaged children and their families during a very difficult time.

Meals on Wheels

United Way’s Meals on Wheels program provides a warm, nutritious meal delivered with a caring smile and a safety check to the frail elderly and homebound in our community every day. This program has made a very positive impact on the lives of the elderly and other homebound that live alone and need our neighborly support.

Senior Assistance Program

Through our Senior Assistance program, United Way is helping our frail elderly and low income seniors when circumstance arise and they need our help. It could be an emergency home repair, help with attaining a wheel chair or other medical equipment, or even a window air conditioner to help cool a room during a heat wave, United Way is there to offer help when they need it the most.

Wheels for Work Program

Not having a car makes the challenges of raising a family extremely difficult. It also makes it difficult for a parent to get and keep a job if he or she lacks personal transportation. In partnership with Fort Dodge Ford - Toyota, the Wheels for Work program accepts donated vehicles and then gives them to qualified families that are in desperate need of a car.

Joy of Reading Program

For children and youth of all ages, the ability to read effectively can be the difference between success and disappointment in life. Lacking vital reading skills holds youth back at every stage of life. The Joy of Reading program is now managed by United Way. It provides free books to children. The JoyMobile has distributed thousands of free books to kids throughout the community so all kids can experience the joy of reading.

VITA Program

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provides low income individuals and families with free income tax preparation services. In partnership with the Iowa Central Community College Accounting Department, this program serves over 350 people annually and helps return close to $500,000 in income tax returns and tax credits to these citizens.

YouthNet Program

In partnership with our local school systems, this program provides a system for bringing local social services into our schools so the youth can easily access these services. Be it mental health counseling, anti-bullying or youth leadership programs, YouthNet is an innovative partnership that connects students with important resources to help our youth thrive.

Character Counts in Fort Dodge

Character Counts in Fort Dodge strives to advance the Six Pillars of Character, (trustworthy, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness and citizenship) with our youth and community. Character Counts is a positive youth development program that helps youth of all ages develop positive character values and assets that will help them make good decisions, avoid at-risk behaviors and develop into happy, healthy and socially strong individuals.