April: A Month of Projects and Solutions

April 28, 2020 | United Way Team

Learn about the initiatives we’ve worked on to help our community throughout this unprecedented April.

Since COVID-19 became active in Eastern Iowa, United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) has been working to connect our community and not only meet emerging needs but begin to create long term solutions. Here’s a recap of what UWECI has been working on throughout the month of April.

To update the community on pandemic-related initiatives, we’ve created weekly #ConnectingCommunity updates. Each week, Kristin Roberts, UWECI President & CEO, discusses challenges facing our community and how we’re working to partner with Connecting Community-Header-DRAFT-MM-03other area organizations to find solutions. You can find our updates in our blog and on our YouTube page.

We went virtual with our 2020 Volunteer Awards! Over the course of two weeks, we highlighted finalists from each category and announced winners. Each winner will be presented with their award once social distancing measures have been lifted. Click here to meet our finalists, learn about their work, and watch our award winner videos!

In addition to recognizing our volunteers virtually, UWECI staff has made plans to host a virtual Day of Caring. There are many ways to participate, from purchasing gift cards to local businesses to signing up for virtual opportunities. You can explore different ways to volunteer here! Don’t forget to tag UWECI and use #UWVirtualDOC when posting photos and videos.

Along with celebrating people and events virtually, we’ve also been able to connect organizations in our community with resources and solutions to issues created by the pandemic. These solutions emulate our mission of fighting for the education, financial stability, and health for every person in East Central Iowa. Some of the projects we’ve connected include:

  • A challenge Kirkwood Community College brought forward was students who are learning trades, such as welding, may not be able to finish requirements for their certification. Through our labor and union connections, we are working on solutions to help these students get the help they need to fulfill these obligations.
  • Our staff connected with an organization in Williamsburg who is helping take care 20200406_133628of a group of migrant workers’ children while school isn't in session. We were able to provide this group with a truck load of books and games to keep the children occupied.
  • With the help of Matthew 25’s Green Iowa AmeriCorps team, the Pantry Pickup Project has launched. This initiative delivers pantry items to home-bound residents with no access to transportation in the community. Since launching, the program has assisted over 100 clients. Click here to learn more about the project or to sign up as a volunteer.

As we continue to navigate uncertain times, we will continue to move forward in support of our community. Stay connected with us on our social media channels daily, through our #ConnectingCommunity blog series and other blogs that focus on more specific topics related to COVID-19. Together, we stand united.