How UWECI is connecting those in need to life-changing resources

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United Way of East Central Iowa is collaborating with our community partners to meet the emerging needs of those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donors, volunteers, & partners from across Eastern Iowa make it possible for UWECI to navigate and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways. United Way was built to lead communities through challenging & changing times. No matter the obstacles or odds, we fight for our neighbors. This pandemic has taught us we are nimble & ready to address challenges facing our community at any time. Here are a couple of the ways we’ve helped our neighbors during COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The need is ongoing. Whether you’re an individual or a business, any amount is appreciated.
  • For interested philanthropic and business partners, please contact Kristin Roberts at kristin.roberts@uweci.org
  • For media inquiries about UWECI’s response to disaster recovery, please contact Mel Doudna, VP of Marketing & Communications, at mel.doudna@uweci.org
  • As a reminder, UWECI can only grant funds to 501(C)(3) organizations, not to individuals.

Connecting Our Community

Our communities thrive when we leverage strengths and partnerships to help others. The past months showcased the great things that happen when our communities are connected. Through the power of groups dedicated to disaster response and volunteers, UWECI was able to provide area nonprofits with the support they needed to respond to COVID-19.


Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster (LAP-AID) rallied individuals from nonprofit organizations and communities to expedite Linn County’s response to COVID-19 and provide long-term recovery resources. UWECI is the hub and fiscal agent of the collaborative effort of more than 40 local nonprofits & has many leaders from UWECI. Through community collaborations, we were able to accomplish amazing feats such as delivering 360 boxes of foods to homebound residents and create a database of volunteer opportunities for agencies in need.

Published a 3-part mental health series in The Gazette

360 boxes of food delivered to homebound residents

A database of volunteer opportunities for agencies in need


UWECI rallied local nonprofit organizations to centralize volunteer opportunities in a special COVID-19 section of our Volunteer Now portal, allowing them to post and update their most urgent volunteer needs. These volunteers aided area nonprofits during a great time of need. Additionally, UWECI’s Volunteer Engagement team pivoted their plans for Day of Caring and hosted the event virtually, gathering volunteers from across the area to participate in virtual activities and appropriate social distance-friendly projects.

Nonprofit Resources & Support

UWECI collaborated with community partners to establish resources for all communities. We were able to launch The Impact & Needs Assessment Survey: which measured multiple times how the pandemic is creating challenges for all nonprofits in our area. UWECI also created Nonprofit News: a weekly newsletter to nonprofit agencies that shares updates on funding, programs, virtual events, and outreach opportunities.

The Impact & Needs Assessment Survey measured how the pandemic is creating challenges for nonprofits in our area.

Nonprofit News is a weekly newsletter that shares updates on funding, programs, virtual events, and outreach opportunities.

Connecting Community

Our communities thrive when we leverage strengths and partnerships to help others. The past months showcased the great things that happen when our communities are connected. Through this connecting power, we were able to donate 57,000+ diapers to the Eastern Iowa Diaper Bank, host 3 book drives that collected thousands of books for area students and so much more.

Delivered 250 boxes of ethnic food to the refugee & immigrant community

Conducted a food drive for area seniors

Delivered educational materials to migrant children in Williamsburg

To see the whole story of our efforts to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here to see our COVID-19 response flyer.

Click below to see the full list of nonprofits who received funding.

Recipients A-G

Gift card purchasing to order and deliver groceries to vulnerable individuals 60+. Support purchase of a larger van to create social distancing space as well as a sanitation fogger for the vehicle

Other funds were used for technology needs for clients.  This is for staff and to help their phone system forward calls to their cell phones

Expands technological capabilities for programming and enhance virtual experiences by offering a diverse array of activities online. Humanity Shields- PPE adapted for clients of the ARC who are unable to wear a traditional mask as well as technology support for Service and Support Coordinators

Rental assistance to individuals who are experiencing hardship during COVID-19, PPE for staff and patients to continue essential services, and provide access to internet and technology sources for children to complete homework remotely

Food boxes and coping kits for families in Benton County

Infant/child formula, diapers, food and other needed supplies

Support case management and food/supply needs for sheltering of immigrant population and women in the shelter. Safety equipment and supplies related to COVID as well as expanded Zoom licenses to support virtual learning

Provide supports for increased need in the dental clinic program

Support mobile advocacy for individuals who are victims/survivors of domestic violence

Provides aid for unmet needs such as co-pays, medical supplies and prescription assistance

Support in buying PPE and increased cleaning costs due to COVID-19, as well as marketing of mental health resources during the pandemic

PPE for volunteers to continue providing support for incarcerated individuals transitioning out of jail

Support hotel room costs to ensure continuing shelter needs and COVID-19 safety

Provide educational items for summer lessons and learning experiences

Take Home Kits + Increase virtual programming capacity

Help with increased safety precaution costs due to COVID-19 guidelines

Meal support due to increased need

Recipients H-Z

Provides contactless food distribution to seniors

Providing translation services and medical supplies and prescriptions

Personal hygiene Products for MOW recipients and food assistance to the elderly

Assist clients in legal issues related to COVID-19 and economic barriers

Eliminate youth program fees to provide affordable childcare for summer programming

Provide school supply support to minimize financial impact on households

Emergency financial assistance to those in Marion Village and Squaw Creek mobile homes

Additional food to support increased demand of pantry

Provides transportation support for individuals with disabilities to ensure access to medical appointments

Funds to support increased need for food pantry and Provide masks to clients due to increased need as a result of layoffs and job loss for working-class families

An expansion of the emergency financial assistance program that provides direct relief to clients that are unable to provide for their family’s basic needs because they are not eligible for CARES Act assistance

Triage emergencies and provide care instructions for clients

Funds to divert individuals from shelter and remain in their home

Books and Educational Support Materials

Expansion of emergency shelter operations due to COVID-19 precautions and, due to increased COVID-19 precautions, more overflow shelter-staff were needed for shelter and meal delivery

Would you like to apply for Disaster Relief funds?

Please view the attached PDF and follow the instructions provided. As a reminder, UWECI can only grant funds to 501(C)(3) organizations, not to individuals.

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