Decades of Caring - The 1990s
August 11, 2011
The Waverly-Shell Rock Area United Way was first established as a community chest in 1951. For sixty years, the organization has served the communities within Bremer and Butler Counties. Originally established to raise funds for all local non-profits, during the 1990s Waverly-Shell Rock Area United Way expanded its mission to include collaboration on community issues, creation of community resources, and the offering of additional support for emergency and special projects. This month, United Way remembers the 1990s – the fifth in a six part series commemorating its six decades of caring.
Recognizing the need for additional assistance, United Way collaborated and funded several projects during the 1990s. The board of directors approved funding for a word processor for Pathways, the repair of multiple appliances at the Waverly Child Care & Preschool, and a trailer to transport goods for the Larrabee Center. United Way also helped to fund a community health needs assessment, electric doors for Adults Incorporated, van for Bremer County ARC, renovation efforts for the Bremer County Historical Society, and offered seed money for the Cedar Valley Friends of the Family Crisis Shelter.
A generous donation by Keith and Joy Schuldt led United Way to move to 410 West Bremer Avenue in 1991. In 1992, the Schuldts pledged free rent for five years. This building eventually served as the home of United Way until 2010.
W-SR Area United Way celebrated 45 years in 1996 with free music, lemonade, and popcorn. Celebrating United Way’s anniversary, Governor Branstad volunteered in Waverly by helping to paint the log cabin in Kohlmann Park. Also in 1996, United Way led an effort with law enforcement and other community agencies to coordinate events surrounding the Olympic torch relay passing through Waverly.
In 1997, United Way led a team of community experts to publish the first version of the Youth Yellow Pages. This resource directory for children offers contact information and tips for dealing with depression, anger management, nutrition, grief, and suicide; among 31 others. Currently on the third printing, the book is distributed to eight Bremer and Butler County school districts.
The following agencies were welcomed as new United Way partners during this decade: Adults Incorporated, Bartels, Bremer-Butler Hospice, Bremer County Council on Aging, Cedar Valley Food Bank, Exceptional Persons, Inc., Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation, and Northeast Iowa Council on Substance Abuse.
United Way board and staff continue to work toward the mission to improve lives and strengthen communities by securing funds and promoting services for youth, elderly, and those in need.