United Way
United Way of

December 2017

"We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.
- Winston S. Churchill

Upcoming Events
Business After Hours
December 14th, 5-7pm

Pancake Breakfast
January 19th, 7-9am

Tech Night
January 22nd, 6-7:30pm

Scroll down for more details on all these events!

Muscatine Data
Households Utilizing DHS - 2,881

US Unemployment Rate - 4.5%

Iowa Unemployment Rate - 3.0%

Muscatine Unemployment Rate - 2.4%
Note from Executive Director

Happy holidays! It's December, which means we are in the middle of the holiday season, even if the weather has been much warmer than we are used to. If you read last month, you probably remember that we were soliciting feedback that would help us make sure we were having the best impact on the community. I want to thank everyone who took the time to provide opinions and insights on United Way. These surveys are just one piece of the puzzle. In addition to donor and community surveys, I've spoken with the leaders of many of the programs that we fund as well as our top corporate supporters. We're also getting information from other United Ways to see what ideas have been working in other parts of the country. This is all part of a comprehensive plan to make sure we're doing our best to serve the community and have the biggest impact. If you haven't already done so, there's still time to support our work. If you aren't already giving through your workplace, you can go to our website and give at unitedwaymuscatine.org/pledge. Every gift, no matter how small, makes a difference and supports the work that we are doing in the community. Thank you for your support and thank you for reading.
Shane Orr
Executive Director

Support United Way of Muscatine and  #StartWithaSmile  at  Amazon Smile  when you shop this holiday season. A percentage of your purchase will be donated to United Way of Muscatine.

United Way of Muscatine is a BBB Accredited Charity. That means we've met BBB's 20 Standards of Charity Accountability. Keep us in mind when considering your charitable giving this holiday season!

Aligned Impact Muscatine: Pathways to a Better Career

Do you or someone you know want to find a better career? Do you need to further your education to reach your goals but don't know where to start? The guide here will help you find a path that fits your career goals and learn about financial aid resources.


Trinity Muscatine Public Health Spotlight - Teen Support Services


Trinity Muscatine Public Health (TMPH) has two programs focusing on providing teens with supportive services in the event they become a pregnant or parenting teen; Teenage Support Services and Parenting Support Services.  These services are provided by a Social Worker to increase access of support services to teens that are at risk, pregnant, or parenting.   TMPH also has numerous other programs provided in all of Muscatine County Schools to educate youth on pregnancy prevention; however, it is important to provide teens that may become pregnant or parenting with services to increase the likelihood they successfully graduate from High School, enroll in post-secondary education, increase their informal and formal supports and access family planning services to reduce subsequent pregnancies.

Based on statistics from Iowa Department of Public Heath in 2015 Muscatine County recorded 33 births born to females, 15-19 years of age.  This was a decrease of 5 births born to teens from the previous year and down from 90 births born to teens in 2008.  Although the teen birth rate has declined, Muscatine County teen birth rate (6%) remains higher than the average state rate of 4.1%. (* https://idph.iowa.gov/health-statistics/data).  It is likely the decrease in numbers have been impacted by education and preventative services offered in Muscatine County.  These services provided by Trinity Muscatine Public Health include Teenage Support Services, Adolescent Parent Support Services, the Teen Outreach Program and Adolescent Sexual Health Education.

A teen named Sara recently participated in the Teen Support Services and had successful results.  Sara is a dedicated and driven teen parent who didn't think she could make it until she received our programming.  Sara's name has been changed to protect her identity.  The Social Worker from TMPH met with her for the first time after Sara learned she was pregnant.   Sara made a statement to the Social Worker that she didn't feel she could parent as she was living with a friend and could barely support herself.  During a meeting with the Social Worker she was presented all of her options.  Following the meeting she took time to determine her path and decided she was going to raise her baby and turn her life around.  Sara reports it was the best decision she ever made.  The Social Worker provided her with support services available to her and she was able to get her own apartment, baby clothing and a crib.  Sara stated, "If you feel low and like you are on rock bottom, it's time to start climbing and making better choices!   Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  Don't give up and take things slow, you will eventually get where you want to be."   Sara also identified having supports in place as well as utilizing community resources to assist her in continuing with her education.

Contact Information:
Trinity Muscatine Public Health
Phone: (563)263-0122
Address: 1609 Cedar St., Muscatine, IA 52761

Imagination Library Spotlight - Fuhlman Family

1. How did you hear about Imagination Library?   I was watching the Voice one night while Dolly Parton was guest coaching. I remember hearing her talk about her career. Shortly after, a commercial followed advertising the Imagination Library. I immediately went to the computer and signed my daughter up. 
2. What book are you reading right now?  Little Sleepyhead

3. What do you/ your child like about the book?   I love reading it to Lyric at night to wind down. I also love going through the motions in the book. Lyric will raise her hands up, blow kisses, and put her head up to me so I can sing do re mi. These are the best memories we are building.

4. What is your favorite book that you have received through Imagination Library? And why?  The Little Engine That Could. I'm a firm believer that even when you feel like giving up you need to keep pushing through. To me this book has a powerful message about not giving up and to keep on going even when you feel like you can't. I feel it has a very strong and positive example it sets for all children who read it.
5. What do you like most about reading with your child/children?  The memories we build and watching her learn from them. I can't wait for the day that Lyric starts reading these books back to me.

6. Would you recommend Imagination Library? If so, why?  I definitely would. Every child deserves to be read to and to learn a love for reading. I've recommended the Imagination Library to several others already and they were shocked to see the variety of books you can get. Books are so expensive and this really helps parents who are struggling out.

7. Has Imagination Library helped grow your home library?  It's helped so much. I love the variety and collection we have growing for different ages and stages in my daughter's life. If it weren't for the Imagination Library I know we wouldn't have discovered half of these books and authors that have been made available to us.

8. Anything else you would like to share?  Reading was always my favorite past time and I hope to pass my love for it onto my daughter, Lyric. I love reading to her at bed time because it's our special thing. I really look forward to receiving a new book every month to bond over.

Thank you to the Fuhlman family for sharing.  For more information about Imagination Library, or to share your story, please contact  Lori Dietrich a  lori@unitedwaymuscatine.org .

To register for Imagination Library online, please visit our website.

Business After Hours

Pancake Breakfast

Tech Night

Food Packing for the Muskie Lockers!

United Way held a meal packing on November 28th at Faith United Church of Christ.  We had 57 volunteers pack 15,985 meals.  1,296 of the meals were taken to the Muscatine County Food Pantry and the rest of the meals were taken to the Muskie Lockers.  Read more ...
Monsanto supports United Way of Muscatine with Chili Cookoff and Carnival

Monsanto held Campaign Events to support us.  First was a Chili Cookoff, and then a Carnival!  Fun was had by all!  Thanks so much for the support!

Volunteer Lunch

Thank you to all who attended the Volunteer luncheon!  We had 58 volunteers attend the luncheon.  Amber Wood with Red Cross and Lindsey Phillips with Big Brothers Big Sisters talked about volunteering.
United Way Day of Action

Day of Action was held on November 18th.  There were plans to clean up the yards of 22 seniors in Muscatine, Durant, and Fruitland.  Unfortunately, the rain and chilly weather put a damper on the plans, but several yards were completed that day, and the remaining yards were all completed within the week.  We had 49 volunteers for the projects and a total of 195 volunteer hours.  

United Way