Summer 2022

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

“Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, The United Way and Volunteering are Great, and so are YOU!” – Todd Hafner

A Note from the Director

Summer has sprung, are you excited? I think I am. Let me clarify that a bit. I love the freedom that comes with summer, but I hate how hot it gets. I know, I know, it is not the most popular opinion. What about you, how do you spend your summer? Resting and enjoying the laid-back schedule? Enjoying as much time off before the hectic fall schedule arrives? Or do you keep everything the same throughout the year? At United Way, we kick things up a notch and are incredibly busy. Summer lunch has started, planning is in full swing for the Back to School Fair, we are starting to get projects together for Day of Caring (September 8), and our first annual Bingo Ball is coming up (September 9). As you can see, summer is not relaxed and laid back here at United Way, but I can’t imagine it any other way.
April was Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we had a great time recognizing the wonderful volunteers in Mahaska County. During the Hawaiian-themed appreciation dinner, we heard a riveting speech from Todd Hafner, Head Football Coach at William Penn University. In his speech, he talked about the importance of volunteering, how it connects you with the community and how good it feels when you finish. He told us stories about William Penn students who volunteer in Mahaska County and the joy they receive from their volunteer work. When Coach Hafner concluded his speech we presented our volunteer awards. We recognized Robert Schlechter for his 10 years of service to our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Biggest Heart Award went to Ryan Colter, the Most Dedicated Award went to Jan Palmer, and the Jack of All Trades Award went to Geneva Knobbe. We know all the volunteers deserve an award, so we closed out the evening with a random drawing. This drawing was won by the Choua Sayaxang. To our volunteers, we say thank you for everything you do in Mahaska County. YOU are showing us all how to Live United!

Warmly, Michella

Thank you Jan

After years of dedication and service to our Take Along Weekend Food Program, it is time for a well deserved break for one of our Take Along coordinators, Jan Palmer. Jan has volunteered and coordinated this program for seven years. She has always been passionate about helping the children and students in our community. For years Jan has strived to ensure no child goes hungry. As she steps down from her position as coordinator, we want to thank Han for her many years of service to the Take Along Weekend Food Program and United Way of Mahaska County. Thank you for showing us what it means to LIVE UNITED.

Back to School Fair

This year the Back to School Fair will be held at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds on August 10th from 3:00 – 6:00pm. This event does not happen without the help of the community and or many volunteers. All volunteer opportunities will be listed on by mid-July.

When you are our shopping for school supplies consider picking up an item or two off our wish list.

All wish list items can be dropped off at the United Way Office, 102 1st Ave East in Oskaloosa.

Register your student by scanning the QR Code or go to this link:

BTSF School Supply List

Your Gift, Their Story

Alice and Marilyn have been neighbors and good friends for years. They watched their children play together and grow through the years; they attended the same church and they leaned on each other as they lost their husbands. Alice had stopped at Marilyn’s one day to visit and found Marilyn’s home to be very chilly. When Marilyn offered Alice buttered saltines with tea during the visit, Alice learned that Marilyn was cutting way back on her groceries and had turned the thermostat way down in her home so she could afford the heating bill. Alice encouraged Marilyn to contact Milestones for meals, knowing that nutrition is so very important to a senior citizen. Milestones helped Marilyn with nutritious meals and gave her information on where to go for help with her heating bills. Marilyn recently told Milestones she had regained the weight she lost when she was on her “utility diet” and thanked them for letting her know there is a lot of help available that she never dreamed would be available to her.

Bingo Ball

Save the date! On September 9, 2022, we will be hosting our 1st Annual Bingo Ball at 6:00 pm in the Penn Central Mall Center Court. Packed into this event we’ve got BINGO, prizes, hors-d’oeuvres, cocktails, a silent auction, and fun for the whole family all in one place.
The funds raised at this event will allow United Way of Mahaska County to continue our focus in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. Any and all donations are accepted and appreciated.
If you would like to make donation to the silent auction or sponsor the event, please contact Michella Friesen at


$30.00 per person
$55.00 per couple

$200.00 per table of 8
$250.00 – Sponsorship
$425.00 – Sponsorship & Table

Mark Your Calendar

Summer Lunch

The Summer Lunch Program serves a healthy meal to children ages 1-18 years old at several sites in the community. If you are interested in volunteering contact Paige at 641-673-6043 or

Back to School Fair – August 10, 2022

A one day event where students in pre-school through High School can pick up a backpack filled with school supplies. Pre-registration is required. Be on the lookout on our social media pages for items to donate and ways to volunteer.

Day of Caring – September 8, 2022

Day of Caring is an annual event which brings volunteers from across the community together for one day of collective, meaningful impact. Volunteers spend time landscaping, painting, building, and doing repairs throughout the community.