MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though they functioned as separate organizations for years, United Way of Muscatine and United Way of Wilton have worked together closely to ensure that Muscatine County residents get the support they need to thrive. Because of United Way of Wilton’s small size and all volunteer staff, it has elected to merge with United Way of Muscatine, expanding services countywide and ensuring that Wilton residents have access to all the programs other county residents benefit from. “United Way of Muscatine has supported several Wilton businesses in their fundraising efforts for many years due to limited resources at United Way of Wilton,” shared Hilary Henke, United Way of Muscatine community engagement manager. “Both organizations recognized an opportunity to better serve the Wilton community in terms of resource development, community engagement, and programming through a merger and started discussions last spring.”
Even before United Way of Muscatine and Wilton merged, United Way of Muscatine assisted them with several programs, including providing reading buddies for four-year-old preschool students at Wilton Elementary School, holding a school supply drive, and working with Wilton Community School District to provide hygiene items to people in need. Now, with their combined resources, United Way of Muscatine looks forward to bringing the Kids First Fund to Wilton Community School District, which allows United Way to work with educators and school staff to get kids in need the supplies to succeed in school and extra curricular activities. They also anticipate starting Day of Caring volunteering events to increase the number of local volunteers and help take care of community needs that matter to people in Wilton. Qualifying children in Wilton can also sign up for the Imagination Library program as well.
Because United Way of Muscatine has a full-time staff in addition to their numerous volunteers, Henke anticipates the merger will allow Wilton to have many of their needs much more quickly than when they had to rely solely on volunteers. To make sure that United Way of Muscatine fully understands how to best serve Wilton, two members from United Way of Wilton’s board will join United Way of Muscatine’s board.
With the merger completed, Henke feels excited to get to work helping people in Wilton however United Way of Muscatine can. “We are really excited to be able to support all of Muscatine County now,” she emphasized: “Prior to the merger, Wilton was basically the only part of the county that we didn’t already cover, so we’re just happy to be able to join forces with them in supporting the entire county.”
Henke also hopes to get volunteers in Wilton engaged with United Way of Muscatine as soon as possible. If any volunteers in Wilton would like to start assisting, she encourages them to visit United Way of Muscatine’s website to read about their current volunteer opportunities, as well as several of their other programs, including the Kids First Fund and the Imagination Library. Anyone with additional questions about volunteering may call United Way of Muscatine at 563-263-5963 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.