Fort Madison Area United Way provides leadership in problem-solving for areas of unique need in our area. Some of our projects involve data gathering only. For others, we bring together interested parties to discuss potential grants and collaborations. And in some cases, we initiate projects, usually with strong community partners, to provide new programs to assist local residents.
Budget Buddies provides an opportunity for residents who may find themselves faced with continuing financial challenges to develop budget and problem solving skills so that they can make better informed choices to improve their financial situation. The program consists of educational workshops and the opportunity for individuals to meet one on one with a budget coach. Program incentives include calculators, budget calendars, and software. For those who meet with a budget buddy and complete tasks toward establishing a working budget, credits are provided toward utility bills.
We realize that helping someone to reduce their heating bills is more cost-effective than simply giving them money to pay their bills. Our Winterization Coupons for $20 for window plastic, door foam or other supplies are made available each fall for local households requesting utility assistance at Community Action. Kempkers True Value and Building & Materials provide a discount to help us make this savings opportunity available to more local households.
Community Directory for Lee County
Through a collaboration Big River United Way, a Community Directory is periodically printed for our area listing organizations meeting human needs in a wide variety of areas. These directories are available to local residents at many local agencies including the United Way office, the Lee County Health Department, and Iowa Department of Human Services. Download directory here:
Resources for Families
United Way provides information about programs that support strong families and serve youth and children through inserting extra pages into the Fort Madison Community School District Activities Calendar and making handouts available at Holy Trinity Catholic Schools and local Pre-Schools.
Room in a Box
A sudden disaster such as house fire can leave a family with literally nothing but the shirts on their backs. Local churches and organizations prepare a “Room in a Box,” usually items for a bathroom including personal items, cleaning and laundry supplies, and towels. They register their box with United Way and when there is a local fire, tornado or other disaster, the family in need is referred to them to receive the much needed items.
IRS data for Lee County showed that in recent years, about 13% of local tax payers who were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, did not claim it on their tax return. We also realize that tax preparation can provide a challenge for senior citizens. In conjunction with an AARP program, local volunteers provide free tax assistance at a variety of North Lee County sites during February, March, and early April. Contact the United Way office at 319-372-3585 for information on how to schedule an appointment.