United Way of Story County (UWSC) stands on three main pillars of impact; health, education, and financial stability. It’s what we as an organization live and breathe each day. We focus on ensuring that each person in our community has access to affordable health services, the building blocks needed for academic and life success, and that all individuals will achieve financial stability.
Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted our partnerships and programs in health, education, and financial stability. However, much of the work we do doesn’t fall into one specific bucket. United Way is an expert in creating collaborative efforts, bringing people together to accomplish good for our community. Having a network of partners enables us to achieve more than what any one of us could do alone.
Wheels for Work, a collaboration between UWSC, Ames Ford Lincoln, MICA, The Salvation Armyand Story County Community Services, is one example of how multiple entities come together to create a solution for needs in our county.
If you consistently drive to work yourself, you are among the 73% of those in Story County relying on their own car (data from the Census Bureau). For the other 27%, they are walking, biking, carpooling, or depending on public transportation to get to work. The Wheels for Work program accepts donated vehicles and are given a safety inspection, repaired and donated to a qualifying family in need of a vehicle. Giving a family a car makes child care, school, work, , grocery shopping, and medical appointments more accessible – things that are so easily taken advantage of by those who have never had to be without a vehicle.
Last month, a young mother received a car through the Wheels for Work program. She couldn’t contain her excitement when she shared with us the many ways this car would change her life and the lives of her children, both financially and emotionally. Beyond being able to work more hours and even get another part-time job, she was going to be able to go home for Thanksgiving for the first time in years. Her two young children were going to be able to meet their grandfather for the first time. What was intended to ease her trouble in getting to and from work, ultimately provided a moment in her life that she or her children will never forget.
When we talk about UWSC’s main pillars; health, education, and financial stability, we often think of programs that impact one of those areas. But many, if not most, of our funded programs touch lives in multiple ways, often in ways we wouldn’t ever imagine.
This is why United Way of Story County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. When we help to increase the financial stability of a family, we are creating a ripple effect throughout their whole world. When you join in the work of United Way, you are working towards a better Story County for all. Thank you for your generosity in 2019, we couldn’t do what we do without you.
If you are interested in donating to Wheels for Work financially or with a vehicle, please contact United Way at 515-268-5142.