Comments from the CEO

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way's main goal is to help our community grow.  We do this by addressing the opportunities we are blessed with as well as the challenges we face. 
In 2017, we have had many opportunities.  Increased job creation, new trails, expanded park systems, more business expansion - the list continues.
We were also faced with some of the issues our most vulnerable citizens face - lack of food, housing and transportation.  The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way faces those challenges head on - and works to address them.

Bickford Cottages employees deliver Meals on Wheels
In 2017, w e re-started the "Meals on Wheels" program in Fort Dodge.  This program had dwindled c onsiderably and the needs of our elderly and frail citizens were not being met.  The United W ay of Greater Fort Dodge has spearheaded this project and now, hot, nutritious meals are being delivered to our elderly Monday-Friday. 
If you or your business would like to volunteer to deliver meals OR if you or someone you know would like to receive Meals on Wheels, please contact Barb Michaels, 515.571.0174 or

It is our goal to identify needs and opportunities and help our community capitalize on the opportunities and address the needs so that the needs of our disadvantaged citizens are met and they return to stable and productive lives.  

The role of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way is to be a leader at the forefront of possibilities and to take the initiative when meeting challenges.

We wish you the best in health and happiness in 2018 and always.
Randy Kuhlman, CEO
Randy Kuhlman, CEO
United Way of Greater Fort Dodge
United Way Campaign 

The United Way campaign is still underway and we have not quite reached our goal for this year.  Please consider donating by mailing your kind contribution to:
United Way of Greater Fort Dodge
24 N. 9th Street, Suite B
Fort Dodge, IA  50501
Your donation will help us continue to our critical work in our community. 

Please note some of our accomplishments in the past year:
  • Bridging the Gap continues to provide beds to children who don't have beds.  Since its inception 6 years ago, over 750 beds have been distributed in the Fort Dodge Community
  • Upper Des Moines Opportunity, a United Way partner organization, has provided in home financial and home management counseling to 100 families
  • Backpack Buddies, United Way partner organization,  provides food for the weekend for 500 students each week
  • Thousands of books have been provided to students and the community through the Fort Dodge Community Foundation Joy of Reading and the Little Free Library programs
  • Over 60 scholarships were granted from funds in the Fort Dodge Community Foundation
  • Over $1 million in grants were dispersed from the Fort Dodge Community Foundation
  • The Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association, operating with assistance from the Fort Dodge Community Foundation, now has 38 members and 11 Supporting Artists (in 2015, there were 11 members and no Supporting Artists)
  • Approximately 45 senior citizens now receive a nutritious, hot meal Monday- Friday, thanks to Meals on Wheels, the program sponsored by the United Way of Greater Fort Dodge
  • The United Way of Greater Fort Dodge provides financial support to over 40 local organizations that provide services to children, families and the disadvantaged in our community
  • The United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program prepares free tax returns for income-qualifying individuals. With tax refunds, education credits and preparers' fee savings, the economic impact in our community was $606,082 - this is money that the clients saved/received in the form of tax refunds that is spent right here in our community and helps meet the clients' necessities.
  • Over 1,200 children and families received mental health counseling provided by United Way partner agencies (Children and Families of Iowa, Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Charities)
  • D/SAOC (Domestic and Sexual Assault and Outreach Center)provided a safe home for 425 adults and children

100% of United Way donations stay right here in Webster County and support organizations that provide help and services to the neediest citizens in our community
Please help us give someone 
a helping hand

United Way Pacesetter Companies help bring Christmas cheer to many!

We are blessed to have very caring and compassionate businesses in Fort Dodge.  

Steve Mileham,
 United Bank of Iowa

Steve Mileham, United Bank of Iowa
When we were making our United Way visit to United Bank of Iowa, our story about a young mother of who is confined to a wheelchair touched banker Steve Mileham's heart.  He wanted to do something to help this family.  One of the things that would help them would be to have a handicapped accessible stove.  

Steve immediately visited some appliance stores and purchased a convection top, handicapped stove with easy-to-reach controls out of his own pocket. 
He then contacted a carpenter, who built a cabinet for the stove.   It would be made 
New stove cooktop
so that the mother's wheel chair could fit 
under the stove top so she could easily  reach the burners.  She has limited mobility in her arms, so making this easier for her to cook would make a very positive difference in her daily life.

Steve then contacted Bemrich Electric, who agreed to install the stove for her, since it had specific electrical requirements.  Steve also contacted Walmart about convection-friendly cookware.  Walmart helped to provide an entire set of pots and pans for the family.  The pots and pans are also lighter weight, which will make it easier for the mother to handl e. 
What kindness Steve displayed - and without wasting a minute, he set about getting something done that will help this little family.  We are very grateful for Steve's quick action and initiative, and most of all, the generosity and caring he gave this family.  

Bemrich Electric
 installs the new stove

Tim Burns, Teresa Otto, Sammi Johnson, 
Sarah Steward, Stacy Schwan, Stephanie Hade,
 Tammy O'Tool and Brad Baade
Decker Truck Line Provides 
Merry Christmas  to a 
Family in Need

Decker Truck Line contacted our office to see if they could help make a family's Christmas a little brighter.  We contacted Alisa Schlief at Upper Des  Moines Opportunity (UDMO), the organization that works very closely with families in need. 

UDMO quickly identified a family, told us what they needed and also provided some suggestions for a few "extras" to help make their Christmas a little brighter.

The employees divided up the list and went shopping.  How fortunate we are to have such caring and generous people who think of others at a time of year that can be very challenging for many families.  

Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and 
    KHI Help Brighten a Family's Christmas  

Gifts from KHI and the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
The staff members at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance  and KHI joined force s to help make a family's Christmas merrier.  

The family had recently been homeless, but now the father has a good, steady job and is able to provide a home for his family.  

The gifts from KHI and the  Growth Alliance helped the family with some basic needs, such as blankets, clothing and boots, as well as a few special gifts for each of the family members.  
How can you donate to United Way?

Mail us a check payable to  United Way of Greater Fort Dodge, 
24 N. 9th Street, Suite B, Fort Dodge, IA  50501 

Credit Card:  Please visit our website and 
click on the "Donate Now" button or 

An acknowledgement letter of your gift will be mailed to you.  

Like Us on Facebook!

The United Way of Greater Fort Dodge has recently launched a new Facebook page.  Click here   to "Like" us on Facebook and stay up to date on all of United Way of Greater Fort Dodge's latest news and updates via social media! 
Operation Christmas

Ruth Reed
Messenger Photo

Gwen Anderson Messenger Photo

The two wonderful women who have coordinated Operation Christmas for many, many years, Ruth Reed and Gwen Anderson, announced that 2017 was the last year they would organize Operation Christmas.  We are forever grateful to them for their leadership, compassion, hard work and generosity that allowed thousands of people to have a brighter Christmas over the years. 
United Way of Fort Dodge has organized a meeting to begin discussions about how to address the needs that Operation Christmas has filled as we move into 2018.  

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 3:30 in the Community Room at the Greater FD Growth Alliance, 24 N. 9th Street.
All interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Please feel free to invite others who may be interested.
United Way of Greater Fort Dodge
24 N 9th Street, Suite B | Fort Dodge, IA 50501
 515.573.3179 | 

United Way gives people a helping hand.