United Way of Story County closed another successful annual campaign with an impressive $2,060,216.22, reaching over $2 million for the ninth year in a row. UWSC celebrated with community members at CityChurch on Thursday, December 8.
With the announcement of the total dollars raised, UWSC also recognized many local organizations and businesses for impressive contributions to the vision and mission of United Way at the awards celebration.
Two community impact award winners are highlighted at the Celebration each year; one to a collaboration or program that is working effectively to impact the lives of individuals and families in Story County and also to a community impact champion, an individual or business that has shown significant dedication to work in health, education, and/or financial stability through volunteerism and advocacy.
The Collaboration and Innovation Award illustrates a key value: “we are stronger together”, and emphasizes opportunities to work collaboratively to build diversity and inclusion. Whether the change be incremental or significant, this award honors successful strategies to move the needle on common good in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.
The recipient of this year’s award is Nevada Food at First coordinated by Barb Mittman. Started back in 2009, this volunteer-driven initiative offers free meals on Monday and Thursday evenings to residents of Nevada and beyond. In so doing, they assist our neighbors in two of United Way’s pillar areas of health and financial stability. Nevada Food at First collaboratively and creatively addresses food insecurity in eastern Story County through partnerships with Nevada Community Schools social workers, local mobile home communities, and more.
The Community Impact Champion Award recognizes an individual or business that has shown significant dedication to work in health, education, and/or financial stability through volunteerism and advocacy.
This year’s award was given to Dan and Donna Grooms. Donna currently volunteers her time as the coordinator of Bethesda Community Food Pantry, a pantry that is open at four different times in the week and has, in the past 6 months, served a record-setting 920 to 1,395 individuals per month! Dan served as this year’s Iowa State University campaign chair, stepping up for a second year in a row to serve in this capacity. In addition, Dan - Dean of ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine since 2018 - recently started collaborating with United Way and partners on Story County summer enrichment programs. Vet Med students will offer STEM activities in summer 2023, helping not only prevent the “summer slide” but also – surely – exciting local youth about STEM fields.
LIVE UNITED Annual Campaign Awards were also given to businesses that met one or more of the following criteria: consistent, significant campaign contributions; new and significant campaign effort; and/or special efforts to make the overall campaign successful. The 2022 awardees were Gilbert Community School District, Hertz Farm Management, Iowa State University, McFarland Clinic, and Winfield United.
Other award categories:
100% Employee Participation:
Availa Bank (Ames and Nevada), Knapp Tedesco, State Bank & Trust, VenuWorks, and United Way of Story County
New Partners to the campaign:
First Interstate Bank, Skarshaug Testing Laboratory, and Summit Carbon Solutions
Campaigns with the Highest Percent Increase:
American Packaging Corporation, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Gilbert Community School District, and ISU Office of the Vice President for Research
The annual United Way campaign supports over 30 local nonprofit agencies and 90+ programs through the ASSET funding process. Through leveraged grant dollars, specially funded projects, volunteering, and more, donated dollars spur growth and capacity building all across Story County. Thank you to those who supported the community during the 2022 campaign.