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United Way campaign hopes to raise $780,000

T-R PHOTOS BY LANA BRADSTREAM Marshalltown Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Lynne Carroll introduces participant and sixth-grader Tyler Skidmore to the United Way campaign kickoff crowd on Wednesday.

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

With 34 programs being financially supported by the Marshalltown Area United Way, the nonprofit kicked off its annual campaign.

At a Wednesday luncheon at the Fisher Community Center it was announced the 2019-2020 campaign fundraising goal is $780,000, which is $12,000 more than the 2018-19 goal.

United Way Campaign co-chairs Dennis Drager and Theron Schutte told a crowd of roughly 60 people that more than $345,000 has been raised. Drager said the fundraising amount was within a small percentage point of where it was last year.

“I am confident we can reach our goal,” Drager said.

The Caring Center coordinator Karen Weltzen tells a crowd of 60 people at the Wednesday United Way campaign kickoff event about how donations to the organization increased after the July 2018 tornado.

To highlight how money raised by United Way is spent three keynote speakers were brought in such as The Caring Center coordinator Karen Weltzen.

The Caring Center, which is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, helps people in need by providing clothing, bedding, small appliances and books through freewill donations.

After the July 2018 tornado hit Marshalltown Weltzen said donations to the organization were far more abundant and as a result they were able to help a lot of impacted people.

She said the Marshalltown school district even donated a pickup load of jeans.

“We’re good for a while but we are out of men’s size 30-38,” Weltzen said.

YSS of Marshall County director David Hicks introduces successful transitional living participant Kaylee Howe to the United Way campaign kickoff crowd on Wednesday at the Fisher Community Center.

Marshalltown Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Lynne Carroll brought a participant from the program – sixth-grade student Tyler Skidmore – who shared how much he enjoyed spending time with his big brother Jacob Shirar.

“I like hanging out with him,” Skidmore said. “He’s caring, nice and takes me lots of places.”

Heart of Iowa Big Brothers Big Sisters helps create relationships between children in need and adults.

Director of YSS of Marshall County David Hicks introduced the crowd to Kaylee Howe.

In 2015, Howe moved in to the YSS transitional living apartment system for six months after she had to move suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 18.

Roughly 60 people attended the United Way campaign kickoff luncheon on Wednesday. The goal is to raise $780,000 this year.

Assisted by transitional living Howe gained independent living skills and enrolled in the nursing program at Marshalltown Community College.

“One of the biggest obstacles for young student is the cost of living,” Howe said. “For those who are homeless or soon to be, YSS apartments take only 25 percent of your monthly income.”

By having the lower cost of living Howe said she was able to focus on her education.

In addition to transitional living, YSS services include behavioral health counseling, crisis intervention and school-based outreach.

Drager urged people to donate $1 per week, which equates to roughly 15 cents per day, to the United Way. That money will then be given to the United Way to distribute to its partner agencies.

United Way Campaign Cabinet co-chair Theron Schutte updates a crowd of 60 people at the Wednesday campaign kickoff event on how donations are spent by United Way.

To make a donation to Marshalltown Area United Way go online to unitedwaymarshalltown.org.

United Way Campaign Cabinet co-chair Dennis Drager urges a crowd of 60 people at the Wednesday campaign kickoff event to donate to the United Way.