Miranda Grote (left), an instructor with Reading Core, works with Willis Overmohle, a student in a program offered through Carroll Community School District. The program receives funding from United Way of Carroll, which is kicking off their annual fundraising effort.
Miranda Grote (left), an instructor with Reading Core, works with Willis Overmohle, a student in a program offered through Carroll Community School District. The program receives funding from United Way of Carroll, which is kicking off their annual fundraising effort.

October 5, 2017

Some Carroll kids leave school Friday afternoon knowing they may not have another meal until they return to school Monday.

With programs like Community of Concern offering meals to struggling families, these children have less to worry about. Organizations such as United Way of Carroll help fund these programs to ensure they stay afloat and can continue to help the community.

In 1976, the United Way of Carroll was formed. It now has 14 volunteer-based board members of varying ages and genders, working together to support the community.

In Carroll, United Way holds annual fundraisers, including a “grill out” in August at Graham Park during Carrollfest. Events like this help United Way of Carroll raise money to assist agencies such as New Opportunities, Family Crisis Centers, Carroll Community School District, area child care centers and many more.

This month, Carroll’s United Way will begin reaching out to local businesses to boost donations. Some employers are able to set up pay deductions, having a certain amount of each paycheck go directly to United Way.

Setting up that type of relationship with more area employers is an important step for boosting donations for the organization down the road, said Jennifer Munson, executive director of United Way of Carroll, the only United Way employee paid for her part-time duties.

“Getting more of those types of relationships built is really what we need to focus on to get more than $100 at a concession stand,” she said.

United Way is more equipped to fundraiser than some of the organizations it supports, providing them with extra support.

Communities can donate directly to the agencies rather than to United Way of Carroll, but using United Way as a liaison provides more structure for the donation, said Nicole McCarville, United Way of Carroll’s board president.

Residents who donate money directly to an agency have no say in how it is spent. When the agencies receive funds from United Way of Carroll, there are guidelines addressing how it is used. The agencies apply for a grant through United Way of Carroll, a process that involves interviews and certain requirements, McCarville said.

“You can’t be using it for their general overhead,” said Nate Lueth, United Way of Carroll board secretary. “It can’t be used to pay the rent of a building or payroll of the employee, unless it’s specifically asked for in their grant. It’s very specific.”

As United Way of Carroll begins building partnerships in the area this fall, its members emphasize their desire to support Carroll-area organizations and agencies.

“We’re really just striving to get the word out about who we help, and we’re really focused on helping kids and families in the community improve their lives through different programs, and the funding that we’re able to provide to these agencies really can help accomplish that,” McCarville said. “We provide funding for needs that aren’t met elsewhere, and we don’t want to see that elsewhere.”

People interested in donating to the United Way of Carroll can send checks to United Way of Carroll, P.O. Box 482, Carroll, Iowa 51401 or call 712-292-5671.