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At United Way of North Central Iowa:
We believe in a community where children are healthy and prepared for success in school.
We believe in a community where families and adults are financially stable.
We believe in a community where older adults age well, are supported, healthy and engaged.
We believe in a community where youth graduate high school ready for college, work and life.
These hopes for our community drive us to create collaborations with businesses, resources and agency programs to help make these beliefs a reality.
We want to introduce you to Mary. Mary had a pretty rough childhood. She was sexually abused by a relative. Her mother and one of her best friends died during her childhood. These Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs – studies have shown the more adverse childhood experiences a child is exposed to, the more likely they are to have difficulties as an adult, such as mental illness and substance abuse, poor health and overall difficulty maintaining a stable life) caused Mary to suffer from mental health issues and as a result she abused pain medications.
Mary had seven children, five of which were removed from her care and adopted by foster parents. The sixth was taken away from her at the hospital shortly after birth when nurses were concerned about her drug seeking behavior. Mary knew she needed to turn her life around and was determined to regain custody of her son. Mary and her husband were able to demonstrate good parenting skills during visits with a CASA volunteer; they kept their home clean and appropriate. Mary sought counseling for her drug addiction and eventually was successful in staying clean. She also began receiving appropriate treatment for her mental health condition. Mary and her husband regained custody of their son and had another child as well.
Mary didn't get a fair chance at life. But with the support and collaboration of multiple community programs and people believing in her she got a second chance for her and a fair chance and a better life for her children.
United Way of North Central Iowa helps these community programs collaborate and provides funding to programs that help in situations like this all across north central Iowa. Be a part of someone's fair chance. Donate to United Way of North Central Iowa and create a better place for you, your family and your neighbors to live.