MASON CITY, Iowa - 'Where there's a you, there's a way!'
That's the motto behind the United Way of North Central Iowa's 2019 campaign, which kicked off Thursday at a celebration at the Mason City Chamber of Commerce/North Iowa Regional Commerce Center. Partners from across the agency's 8-county region participated in a poverty simulator, and heard stories from people who have been directly impacted by the generosity of those who contributed to the organization, and the programs they support.
According to CEO Jen Arends, she says about 40,000 people in their region are struggling to make ends meet.
"These are people that are working, that are struggling to pay for rent, to pay for food, to pay for child care. We know that if we don't wrap around them, they'll fall further into poverty and further into despair."
While they do set a fundraising goal each year, she's wanting to take this year's campaign to beyond just raising money, and have it make real, meaningful impacts.
"What that money actually equates to is lives changed, who are able to help, who are able to get support around. Last year, 1 in 5 North Iowans used a United Way non-profit program, so we're making real changes right here in the community.
The campaign is slated to run until November. To donate, click here.