An Insider's Look into United Way's Work

At United Way of Story County (UWSC), we believe that when we are United together, we can find solutions that make long-lasting, positive change in the lives of individuals and families, which is why our 2017 LIVE UNITED campaign theme is United Together. Finding Solutions, Changing Lives. We do this because every person in our community has a right to have a good quality of life.
Throughout the campaign season, we have shared how UWSC brings community members together to identify problems and find the solutions that change lives. This week, we spoke with one of those community members who has been actively involved with UWSC to ask him how working with us has made an impact on him personally and professionally. 
Dan Culhane, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ames Chamber of Commerce, served two terms as a board member and spent two years working on the campaign leadership team before becoming the 2017 Campaign Chair. Through serving in these positions, Dan has seen first-hand that even though Ames is an affluent community overall, the needs within our community are vast. There are many challenges for people in our community who are in need, and having a resource like UWSC to advocate on their behalf address these needs is vital.
Dan’s interest in his roles with UWSC began when people he respected and held in high regard championed our work. He began to understand that as a community we have an obligation to serve one another, and he found UWSC to be a unique and special way to serve Story County.
The most significant impression that Dan has had in working with UWSC is learning how big of an issue hunger is in Story County. There are 18 food pantries around the county and hundreds of backpacks of food that go home with children every weekend through the United Way funded Backpack Program. In addition, 95,000 meals are skipped each month in Story County due to food insecurity. Without UWSC funding, that number would be much higher. Thanks to the help of our generous donors, UWSC continues to work at finding an end to hunger in Story County.
“United Way of Story County has made me far more aware of the dire needs that exist in our community,” Dan said. “There are numerous causes globally that need our attention, but I would urge people to carve out some of their charitable dollars for our neighbors that are in need. You only need to look around and you will see people in need in Story County.”
Dan’s involvement with UWSC has helped him see how he can utilize his work at the Ames Chamber of Commerce to help meet our community’s needs. He focuses heavily on encouraging businesses to locate, grow, and expand in Story County. New businesses coming to Ames means more job opportunities and employment, which is vital in creating financial stability for families. 
“United Way of Story County has tremendous impact,” Dan said. “While the annual campaign gets the most attention, I have seen the power and impact of United Way and partner agencies in action.” 
With your support, UWSC can continue to fight for the education, income, and health of every person in our community. To learn more about UWSC’s funding in local programs, visit or call (515) 268-5142.
[Photo: Dan Culhane, United Way of Story County’s 2017 Campaign Chair]
United Way of Story County is a strategic leader in building countywide partnerships to identify needs and to develop, support and evaluate effective human services, especially in the areas of education, income and health, for our diverse community.