United Way
United Way of

July 2017

"We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to 
make a difference." - Nelson Mandela

Upcoming Events

Summer Food Service Program

June - August

*Volunteer information below

Thanksgiving in July - Community Food Drive

July 23         Church Food                       Drive

July 24 - 28  Company                              Drives

July 28        Company                             Collection                             Pick-Up

July 29        Community                           Drive at 
                   Hy-Vee (2400                      2nd Ave)

Cooking with Diabetes Demonstrations for Seniors

August 3rd & September 12th (Registration by August 1st) 

More information below.

Muscatine Data

Free and Reduced Lunch % for MCSD - 52.25%

Households Utilizing DHS - 2,908

US Unemployment Rate - 4.3%

Iowa Unemployment Rate - 3.1%

Muscatine Unemployment Rate - 3%

Note from Executive Director

As I write this, we've just wrapped up the 4th of July festivities. During our first parade five years ago, we decided to hand out pencils. I remember thinking at the time that kids would be disappointed that we weren't handing out candy, as is traditional during the parade. Instead, I found that kids absolutely loved the free pencil that they got. The following year, and every year since, we've handed out books that we've collected. It isn't exactly easy to hand out something so bulky along the parade route, but the results are more than worth it. Let's face it, candy or other giveaways will likely be forgotten about soon after the parade, but a book can be the start of something special. One of my staff noticed a mother reading to her child almost immediately after getting the book handed to her. As I walked back home after the parade, I passed another child sitting on his steps, a bag of candy still around his wrist, reading the book he'd just received. According to research, getting books into the homes of children can lead to higher levels of education regardless of other variables*. That's also why we continue to champion the Imagination Library program in Muscatine. Through this program, children receive a free book every month until their 5th birthday. If you'd like to sponsor the gift of books for a child in our community, please contact our office. Such a simple act can make a big difference in a child's life.
Thank you for reading.


Shane Orr
Executive Director
Annual Report Now Available

Dear Friends,

United Way of Muscatine's mission is to strengthen the collective capacity of the people of the greater Muscatine area to care for one another. Traditionally, that has meant funding area programs in the areas of education, financial stability, and health. In fact, if there's a program in our community doing good work in one of those areas, chances are they receive some funding from us. When you give to United Way, you can be sure that your money is staying local. Locally raised funds helping local programs provide services to impact the lives of your friends and neighbors is what you get when you invest in United Way of Muscatine....

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)

Hello everyone,

Hope that we are all well and enjoying the summer so far. It is amazing to think that we are already in July. Not sure where 
the time has gone, but here we are. For those of you that have been following, we have not heard anything yet back from the family regarding the book Tuesdays with Morrie that was sent out to several family members. We will see if anything comes of this, and will let you know if it does. This, as in so many other situations in life, is a good reminder of what we can and cannot control. We did something we feel with good intentions, so now it is time to step back and give the situation some space.

On another note, my girlfriend Jenny and I had a conversation the other day, and we have committed to make more of an effort to reach out to others with flowers. As some of you know, Jenny owns a flower shop, so there is a great deal that we can do for others. In the recent past, she has offered a buy one, give one bouquet that never really caught on as much as we would have liked, however there seems to be something there that we need to look at soon. In the meantime, we have decided that once a month we will bring one of our neighbors a fresh bouquet of flowers. We delivered our first bouquet the other day. As I have mentioned before, many of our neighbors are retired, and some enjoy this more than others. Others seem to isolate themselves a bit and so we do our best to reach out to these neighbors.

Last week we were driving down the lane and one of the neighbors, who is very nice, however a bit timid, hid from us as we drove past her. Initially, she was standing on the far side of a tree that is in her front yard, and as we got closer, she circled the tree, looking down at the ground. Not wanting to make her feel uncomfortable, we pretended not to notice. But we did notice, and a certain sadness was felt as we passed her. This sadness kind of stuck with us for a while.

A few days passed, and after Jenny and I spoke, we decided to drop off our first bouquet to this particular neighbor. Not wanting her to feel uncomfortable, we chose a moment when she was not at home, setting the bouquet on her doorstep. We have not heard anything directly from her, however a few days later, as we were driving past her house, she peaked through the window, a smile coming over her face, and gently waved to us as we drove past. 

It is so often the simple things in life that have the power to make someone happy. We all have it in us, and often it is just a matter of being more intentional regarding our relationship with others. Whether it is a flower, a note, a meal... Let's try to reach out to others more often.

A few other stories of acts of kindness have come our way:

Kim mentioned that her husband Scott connected with a young employee at Fairway. It seems that they got to talking and Scott found out that the employee is interested in engineering. Scott, as an engineer at Stanley, spoke with someone in HR, then reached out to the employee and said that if he is interested, that a job shadow opportunity is available. The employee is incredibly excited. Who knows, this could have profound ramifications. The potential is there, and all it took was an act of kindness. Thank you Kim and Scott for sharing.

While Nichole was at a conference in Seattle, all of us in the office assisted with the Summer Food Service Program. We wanted to give a shout out to all the staff, volunteers, youth and families that participate in this program. It is always such a pleasure to connect with everyone and help.  If any of you are interested in volunteering, please contact Nichole at nichole@unitedwaymuscatine.org.

Finally, we were very fortunate to receive the Tom Hendricks Community Service Award this month from the Community Foundation for the Summer Food Service Program. We are incredibly grateful to Tom and his wife Nancy, the Community Foundation and all those that help make this program possible. Thank you.

We would love to hear from you. Please submit your stories of Acts of Kindness to donovan@unitedwaymuscatine.org

In Kindness,


Partner Program: Muscatine Community YMCA Summer Art Program

Hannah Taylor is a soon to be 1st grader in the Summer Kids' Club Program.  She is busy making clay fossils, combining her two favorite things; Science and Art.  When not at the Y, Hannah likes to play outside on her swing set and of course she loves kittens.  Hannah is a free spirit who loves to help the staff and other students.  She is a lot of fun to have around the Y, you never know what she is going to say, but it will make you laugh for sure!
Thank you Hannah!

Trinity Muscatine Public Health Spotlight - School Readiness

Is your child ready for school?

Don't wait until August to find out!  There are school requirements for physicals, immunizations, dental screenings and lead screenings. It's very important to check with your healthcare providers BEFORE school starts to see what health screenings your child may need to attend a licensed child care facility, preschool, kindergarten, as well as your children entering 7th, 9th, and 12th grades.
These requirements are in place to make sure your child is off to the best possible start to the school year. Health problems can cause loss of time in school, delaying learning for your child as well as loss of work time for you if your child has to stay home due to illness.
PHYSICALS :  Yearly physicals by your primary health care provider are very important.  It gives providers awareness of your child's growth and development over time helping to detect emerging health problems as well as provide age-appropriate wellness guidance. Routine physical appointments usually allow extra time for providers to fully examine your child and address your concerns that don't occur during a sick visit.
IMMUNIZATIONS :  Cases of whooping cough, mumps, measles and meningitis continue to occur every year. These diseases are very contagious and can be life threatening.  It's important to protect our children and community by having all the recommended immunizations. You can find age appropriate immunization schedules at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/ 

The Iowa Department of Public Health requires proof of immunizations be given to the school or facility for your child to be enrolled. Without proof of immunization the school/facility can deny entry into classes. If you have immunization questions you can call your provider or Trinity Muscatine Public Health at 563-263-0122.

NEW IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR  7th and 12 grade students!!   Muscatine Community School District has informed us that students who do not meet the new immunization requirements will be not be allowed to start classes. The new requirements are:
  • 7th Grade entry:  one dose of meningococcal vaccine is needed if your child was born after September 15, 2004. (Students also must have one dose of Tdap vaccine if born after September 15, 2000).
  • 12th Grade entry: two doses of meningococcal vaccine are needed if born after September 15, 1999. (If your child had a dose of meningococcal vaccine at age 16 or older then only one dose is needed).
Trinity Muscatine Public Health will be holding a walk-in Immunization Clinic (for 7th and 12th grade students only who need these required vaccines) on August 9, 2017 from 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Please call Trinity Muscatine Public Health at 563-263-0122 for requirements to participate in this walk-in clinic.
DENTAL SCREENINGS :  Dental screenings are required for entry into Kindergarten and 9th grades. Dental screenings help with early detection and treatment of dental disease as well as promoting the importance of oral healthcare.  For Kindergarten enrollment, the screening can be performed by a dentist, dental hygienist, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant or a nurse. For 9th grade enrollment, the screening must be performed by either a dentist or a dental hygienist.  You can get the form from your dentist or at the following link:

LEAD SCREENING :  Iowa law requires all children entering kindergarten to have at least one lead test.  Most children are tested for lead exposure starting at one year of age. Exposure to lead affects a child's developing brain and nervous system. Prolonged lead exposure can lead to developmental delays and learning disorders. You can check with your healthcare provider to see if your child has been screened for lead poisoning.
Call your primary medical provider to find out if your child is ready for school.  If you do not have a primary care provider for your child please call Trinity Muscatine Public Health and we will help get you connected  563-263-0122.

Imagination Library Spotlight - Bunn Family

1. How did you hear about Imagination Library?  Facebook Post

2. What book are you reading right now?  Max and the Tag Along Moon

3. What do you/ your child like about the book? Pictures and how the boy looks like he is touching the moon.

4. What is your favorite book that you have received through Imagination Library? And why?  We have only received 2 so far and we have been reading "Max and the Tag Along Moon" every night this week!

5. What do you like most about reading with your child/children? I love watching my daughter learn new things, even after we've read the same book a dozen times.

6. Would you recommend Imagination Library? If so, why? Yes, it provides a larger variety of books than what I would probably pick for my child.

7. How has Imagination Library helped grow your home library? We are starting to expand to more difficult books with regular paper pages and the transition is going very well.

8. Anything else you would like to share? We appreciate the generosity that has made this program possible!  Learning to love reading at a young age will have a lasting impact on our children.

Thank you to the Bunn 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.
Partner Program Spotlight: Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois

Muscatine Troop 2551.  They created a Christmas basket for a senior citizen. Because of their awesome generosity_ these girls in grades K-1 earned the Friendly _ Helpful petal.
Muscatine Troop 2551.  They created a Christmas basket for a senior citizen. Because of their awesome generosity, these girls in grades K-1 earned the Friendly & Helpful petal.

Who We Are

We're 20,000 strong-16,000 girls and 4,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.
Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we've honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
We're the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. The Girl Scout program provides girls of varying backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to discover adventure, gain new skills, and change the world. By focusing the Girl Scout program on the core initiatives of Entrepreneurship, Outdoors, Life Skills, and STEM, girls will become self-sufficient, courageous, and ready to tackle what's ahead.

Our Mission
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois will provide the Leadership and Character Building Program to girls in the City of Muscatine. This program operates with the mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We fulfill our mission by providing the opportunity for girls to gain specific life skills that help prepare them for their future.

The Leadership and Character Building Program will teach life skills that are crucial to the development of young adults and aid in their academic achievement. By the end of the program year, girls will have achieved the following life skills:

-              Sense of Self
-              Positive Values
-              Healthy Relationships
-              Challenge Seeking
-              Community Problem Solving

These specific life skills are attained as girls participate in the program and focus on the four key areas - Life Skills, STEM, Outdoors and Entrepreneurship. These focus areas give girls an all-inclusive experience outside of school that runs congruent with their school curriculum. Throughout the program, girls are learning new, and crucial life skills that they can use today and in the future. For example, girls learn how to set goals, learn how to make sound decisions, attain leadership skills, and develop interpersonal skills. Girls also learn how to make positive choices and are encouraged to live a healthy life. They learn how to have a positive self-image, how to develop healthy relationships, and how important it is to have an overall healthy life. Girls are encouraged to explore and experience science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in an all-girl, supportive, and fun environment. Girls expand their exposure to and appreciation for problem-solving, and communicating scientific and technological information. Girls are encouraged to respect the environment and appreciate outdoor activity. They learn about environmental education with community action, and fun and meaningful ways to protect and conserve resources. And of course, the camp experience is crucial in combining environmental education with developing independence and self-sufficiency. Girls also participate in the largest girl-led financial literacy program in the country; the Cookie Sale. This program teaches business ethics, business planning, budgeting, marketing, and public speaking. In addition to the Cookie Sale, girls research different careers and learn how to create action steps for their future. Girls also have the opportunity to visit local businesses and organizations to learn about the operations of different jobs, and educational requirements for their dream career.
The purpose of the Leadership and Character Building Program is to operate as an out of school program that teaches girls the skills that are crucial in developing a healthy adult life, ultimately aiding in their academic achievement and helping them build a successful future.
Contact Information
Joyce Vance
phone: (319) 752-3639

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine celebrates generosity, financial stability

Liora Engel-Smith/Muscatine Journal
Thank you to the Community Foundation for the Tom Hendricks Community Service Award. We appreciate all that you do for the community.

Liora Engel-Smith/Muscatine Journal

MUSCATINE - The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine's assets grew by almost 50 percent last year to more than $15 million, said officials at the foundation's annual dinner on Thursday night.

"We gained strength achieving a longstanding goal is very satisfying," said Judi Holdorf, the foundation's executive director. "... Reaching that goal really brought a new strength to our community."

This year's annual dinner theme was "Securing Futures" and Holdorf said the money the foundation raised will allow it to be sustainable for years to come.

For more information, please read the full article on the Muscatine Journal website.

Kids First Pancake Breakfast
Thanks to everyone who helped support the Kids First Fund at the pancake breakfast on the 4th of July. More than $1,500 was raised. Contact our office to find out how you can contribute to the fund. 563.263.5963.
4th of July Book Handout

Thank you to everyone that participated in the 4th of July Book Handout. More than 400 books were distributed. 

Back To School Supply Drive

Thank you to everyone that helped with the Back To School Supply Drive. We collected over $500 in school supplies and cash donations. 
Summer Food Service Program: Volunteer

The Summer Food Service Program is designed to support families during the summer months when school is not in session.

Salvation Army: June 5th - August 4th (closed 7/3 & 7/4)
All Other Sites: June 12th - August 11th (closed 7/3 & 7/4)

Days of the Week:  Monday - Friday

Breakfast: 7:45 am - 8:30 am (all but Sunset Park)
Lunch A: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Sunset Park & Salvation Army)
Lunch B: 11:15 am - 12:30 pm (all other sites)

Madison, McKinley, Jefferson & Franklin Schools, & Salvation Army & Sunset Park

If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please visit www.volunteermuscatine.org or contact Nichole at United Way at 563.263.5963 or at nichole@unitedwaymuscatine.org.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
School Supplies: Community Action of Eastern Iowa

United Way