"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” 
―  Charles Dickens
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2018. As in past years, I’d like to update you on some of the great things we accomplished for the community last year. I’d also like to tell you about an exciting opportunity for you to get involved. Before that, I want to thank everyone who supported us in the last year. Thanks to you, we were able to support over 40 local programs that impact the lives of over 25,000 people in our community. 
               In addition to the programs that we help through grant funding, your support has allowed us to make an even bigger impact through many of the initiatives that we lead in the community. In 2017, a record $450,000 of food was saved from the landfill and taken to local food pantries for people in need. Our volunteers logged nearly 22,000 hours, with a value of nearly half a million dollars for our community, mostly thanks to the 2,400 Day of Caring volunteers in the spring and the fall. Over 800 children received assistance through our Kids First Fund, totaling over $25,000. Once again, over 20,000 meals were served in the summer to children who might not have otherwise had a hot meal to eat. On top of all of this, over 1,200 children under the age of 5 are receiving free books in the mail each month through the Imagination Library program thanks to funding from United Way, the Community Foundation, and Muscatine Charities.
               So how would you like to get involved? Every year, volunteers go on agency tours, listen to program presentations, and review grant applications to make recommendations on how our resources are allocated among non-profit programs in our community. By volunteering over the course of two days in February, you could be part of the team that helps with this important process. Contact me for more details at  shane@unitedwaymuscatine.org  or  563-263-5963
               As great as our impact was in 2017, I have confidence that we can do even more this year to make this community a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I hope that you’ll join us!

Thank you for reading!
Shane Orr
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Pancake Breakfast
January 19th, 7-9am
Tech Night
January 22nd, 6-7:30pm
Muscatine Data
Households Utilizing DHS - 2,881
US Unemployment Rate - 4.1%
Iowa Unemployment Rate - 3.0%
Muscatine Unemployment Rate - 2.6%
United Way Data
Did You Know?
United Way of Muscatine (then called the United Fund of Muscatine) was established in 1954 when the Muscatine Community Campaign was faltering, and a group of concerned citizens organized a supplemental campaign.
Spotlight
Career Mentoring Program

Aligned Impact Muscatine's Adult Education and Training strategy group has been hard at work designing a pilot Career Mentoring program. We are currently recruiting passionate volunteers to help us get this program off the ground. This program is ...

Read more
alignedimpactmuscatine.org
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Month

The American Cancer Society reports “This year over 12,000 women will be newly diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and over 4,000 will lose in the battle against it.” This is an astonishing number to let sink in knowing how medically advanced the United States is in the present day. Trinity Muscatine Public Health has identified the need in Muscatine County to provide information, education and coordination of care to our community in order to provide early detection.

Care for Yourself is a statewide program offering assistance to help pay for life saving screenings, diagnostic procedures and treatment for breast and cervical related issues. It has generous income guidelines; eligibility is not determined by citizenship status and offers patient navigation as a means to help eliminate barriers that would otherwise keep women from getting their preventive care. Though it is ideal for women 40 and over it does allow women under this age to enter the program if they are having breast symptoms. 

In the event a woman is not 40 years of age there are other programs and resources available within the community that help cover the cost of vaccines, screenings and diagnostic procedures. If you have private insurance do not hesitate to contact them to find out what coverage you have for preventive screenings, contact your primary care provider or Trinity Muscatine Public Health to see how we can help you take care of you! 

Trinity Muscatine Public Health
1609 Cedar St.
Muscatine, IA 52761
(563)263-0122
Imagination Library Spotlight - Jameson Family

How did you hear about Imagination Library?
From a co-worker

What book are you reading right now?
I have a 3 year old whose newest book is Ten Thank You Letters and an 8 month old who just got a lift-the-flap counting book.

What do you/ your child like about the book?
I like that Ten Thank You Letters talks about expressing gratitude and emphasizing good sharing skills. The counting book is great because the flaps keep my son's attention while helping familiarize him with numbers.
What is your favorite book that you have received through Imagination Library? And why?   
My favorite is Meet Me At The Moon because the illustrations are so colorful and it is a special story about a mama and her little one. My daughter's favorite is Abuela because she loves hearing the words and phrases in Spanish.

What do you like most about reading with your child/children?  
I've loved reading since I was a kid and I've always wanted my children to be readers as well. It's fun to discover different stories together and see them absorb the lessons and pictures and new words.

Would you recommend Imagination Library?
If so, why? Absolutely! The program is FREE! And reading to children at a young age is so important. Plus kids love getting mail!

How has Imagination Library helped grow your home library?
What I love most about this program (besides the free part) is that it has broadened our library of books. Most of the books we've received are ones I've never even heard of before and they always have some sort of good message or lesson within the story that speaks appropriately to the age of my children. Each book has an inside flap that gives tips on things to talk to your children about when reading the book and the books are always of good quality.

Anything else you would like to share?  
Thank you so much for bringing this program to our community!

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

To register for Imagination Library online, please visit our website .
Upcoming Events
Volunteering
Nichole and Michele volunteered their time to help with bell-ringing for the Salvation Army in December.

Stay tuned to see where more staff and board members volunteer their time!
Community Events
Breakfast at Elly's
Elly trusted the United Way staff to help out for a morning. In turn, she donated a portion of the profits to the United Way campaign. Keep up to date on what Elly has to offer on their Facebook page HERE !
Middle School Christmas
Such an exciting time at the middle school Christmas! Thanks to Monsanto for helping to get Santa and Mrs. Clause there! Thank you, Geneva, for the wonderful space and lunch! Thank you to Kids First for the gifts for the kids. All the kids (and the adults!) enjoyed the party! Read more...
West Middle School Kids Baking Cookies
Kids from West Middle School spent time making cookies. The cookies were taken to Franklin School, Sunset Park, and MCSA to decorated with their families.
Business After Hours
Thank you to all who attended our Business After Hours last month. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the local beverages from Contrary Brewing that was made from Kids First honey. If you haven't tried the Iowa Pollinator Ale, you are missing out! The silent auction went very well! We'll be following up and sharing some of the volunteering our board members and executive director will be doing. Thank you to HNI and First National Bank for sponsoring this event!