MFLCares about Midwest Honor Flight

Midwest Honor Flight is is our featured charity this month and has received a
$1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured from left to right: Aaron Van Beek, president & director of Midwest Honor Flight and Sara Fuller, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending’s Team Fuller.

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Midwest Honor Flight is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“We’re grateful to MFLCares for supporting our local Veterans who are so deserving of this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Aaron Van Beek, president & director of Midwest Honor Flight. “We would not be able to make these Missions possible without the support of individuals, organizations, and businesses like Midwest Family Lending.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them.

Sara Fuller, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending’s Team Fuller nominated Midwest Honor Flight after learning about its mission that shows Veterans how much their service is appreciated through these tours.

“We have our Vets to thank for the freedoms we enjoy today, and it’s our duty to honor them any way we can,” Sara says. “It’s an honor to support Midwest Honor Flight to offer this unforgettable experience for our nation’s Veterans.”

About Midwest Honor Flight

Midwest Honor Flight is a non-profit organization in Northwest Iowa, South Dakota, and Southwest Minnesota dedicated to providing Veterans with respect, honor, and closure with an all-expense-paid trip to our nation’s capital. There they visit the memorials dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifices along with fellow Veterans.

One Final Tour with Honor!

If America thought it was important to build a memorial to their service and sacrifice, Midwest Honor Flight believes it’s important for them to visit these memorials before it’s too late. As each flight is funded, the organization immediately schedules the next.

More than 730 Veterans have had the chance to experience their memorials and more than 800 are waiting to fly with Midwest Honor Flight. While each Veteran experiences different emotions throughout his/her Honor Flight, each era has been carrying around burdens since ending its tour of duty.

“On each Midwest Honor Flight Mission, our local Veterans, many who have been hurting for years, are able to see their memorials that will forever remain in our nation’s capital,” Van Beek says. “They know their service will never be forgotten, are thanked for their sacrifices the entire day, and for some, are welcomed home for the very first time. They come home personally knowing how much their country loves them and respects them. For many, they begin to accept their service as honorable and begin to heal.”

How to get involved

Donate to Help Send an American Hero on a Final Tour with Honor

Tours are simply not possible without public support. The cost to conduct an average Midwest Honor Flight trip out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is now approximately $150,000. Every $753 received will send one American Hero on a Final Tour with Honor. It costs about $753 to sponsor each Veteran, and they pay nothing out of pocket for their flight. This includes their flights, food, and transportation in DC as well as a banquet meal the night before. All donations are tax deductible.

Apply to be a Guardian to assist Veterans on the flight

Guardians are essential to the success of the Midwest Honor Flight program. Without these volunteers we would not be able to carry out the dreams of so many veterans, enabling them to see the memorials built in their honor.

Eligible Veterans: Apply for an Honor Flight from Sioux Falls, SD

Top priority is given to WWII, Korean War Veterans, and terminally ill veterans from all wars.


Upcoming Events






June 12: 2nd Annual Honor Ride

July 11-14: Sioux County Youth Fair Food Booth

August 22: The Barrel House Day of Giving

October 15: 5th Annual Hangar Dance

December 17: Wreaths Across America Day



WE CAN’T ALL BE HEROES.
​SOME OF US HAVE TO STAND ON THE CURB AND CLAP AS THEY WALK BY.

-Will Rogers

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Through the program, we care about and support local causes that make our communities brighter each month. Check out our calendar to learn about the people and organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact and making the Midwest a great place to call “home.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MFLCares about Foster CARE Closet of Nebraska


Foster Care Closet is our featured charity this month and has received a
$1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured from left to right: Leigh Esau, founder and executive director of Foster CARE Closet and Jean Holman, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending.

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Foster Care Closet is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“This gift is an amazing opportunity to remind our foster youth that the community sees them and wants to help meet their needs,” says Leigh Esau, founder and executive director of Foster CARE Closet. “It will help us ensure they feel seen and heard as we help stand in the gap during those first hours of care.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them.

As the former head of the PTA in her school district, Jean Holman, has a huge heart for kids in need. Our Lincoln mortgage loan originator nominated The Foster CARE Closet after learning about its mission from a friend who volunteers there.

“It broke my heart to learn Lancaster County alone had over 600 kids in the foster care system last year and more than 400 were continuing,” Jean says. “When I delivered the check and learned how much it would help, it was a great feeling knowing we did something special for those in need.”

About Foster Care Closet

The Foster CARE Closet is an all donation-driven nonprofit run by volunteers. The local non-profit’s passionate about restoring dignity to children in crisis as they enter into the Foster CARE system. It does this by providing a safe, intentionally designed waiting space for children & them with five new outfits of clothing, free of charge.

“All children should feel like they belong and that they have something of their own,” Jean says. “Foster CARE Closet allows them to choose clothing, blankets, shoes, diapers, books and hygiene products to help them make the transition to a new home.”

A Vision Born From Experience

“I am a product of the foster care system and my husband and I fostered more than 20 children in our 13 years as foster parents,” Esau says. “Through this experience I became painfully aware that very little had ever been done to focus on those first hours of a child entering into foster care. We help children transition into foster care by providing a haven, a meal and new clothes – simple things that speak dignity into the lives of children in the midst of trauma.”

Through several foster care placements at their home, Patrick and Leigh Esau realized almost all of the children arrived with only the clothes they were wearing – and nothing else. After recognizing the need for quality clothing in the foster care system, the Esaus founded Foster CARE Closet in March of 2006 out of their own basement!

Since then, the Foster CARE Closet has grown to include and support a variety of different services including the Foster Haven and
Prom Closet. Housed in a specialized facility in Lincoln, NE, the headquarters not only accepts donations from community members and houses all volunteer activity, but also works to source new clothing from local businesses and partners.

The Foster Haven – Because foster care shouldn’t start in a cubicle!

The Foster Haven is a collaborative effort formed in 2012 between the Foster CARE Closet and the Department of Health and Human Services. This unique service allows children to have a clean, comfortable and welcoming environment to wait while proper placement’s found. When a traumatized youth comes through the Foster Haven’s doors, they are fed and clothed. This service seeks to manage the trauma experienced throughout the initial placement process.

How to help

Donate needed items:

  • Pull-ups in all sizes for boys and girls
  • New Pillows
  • New Towels – for children needing to shower before going to their foster home
  • Twin Size Fleece Blankets – especially for teens
  • Shampoo/Conditioner, Combs, Brushes – please remember all nationalities enter into foster care. Hair care products are needed for children with tight, curly hair.
  • Hygiene Products – it can be very difficult for a teen girl in foster care. Foster CARE Closet needs feminine care items to promote healthy care habits in addition to standard hygiene with deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, razors and lotion

Sponsor a Child

Just $29/month ensures a foster child has new, quality clothing throughout the duration they’re in care.

Upcoming Events

5/26: Give to Lincoln Day: A simple way to maximize your impact. Funds given during this 24-hour campaign are eligible for matching grant funds. 

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Through the program, we care about and support local causes that make our communities brighter each month. Check out our calendar to learn about the people and organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact and making the Midwest a great place to call “home.”

We’re passionate about restoring dignity to children in crisis as they enter into the foster care system. Foster care is a journey, not a destination. We’re here to help support our children at every step.



-Leigh Esau, founder and executive director of Foster Care Closet
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MFLCares Gives Back to IOWA Service Dogs


IOWA Service Dogs was our featured charity last month and has received a
$1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured from left to right:
Clarence, IOWA Service Dogs’ youngest pup in training, Jan Moore, IOWA Service Dog’s guardian coordinator and Taylor Fredrickson, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending’s Team Fuller.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – IOWA Service Dogs was our featured charity last month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“Being selected as this month’s MFLCares recipient means the world to us as it will enable us resources and awareness for getting Veterans and first responders to reengage with their communities,” says Jamie Fisher, executive director of IOWA Service Dogs.

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. An animal lover with two rescued fur babies of her own, Taylor Fredrickson, licensed mortgage loan originator with Team Fuller nominated IOWA Service Dogs after falling in love with its mission.

“Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time alone. I remember getting our first pup, Wilson, and finding so much comfort having him around when my mother was working or running errands,” Taylor says. “Dogs offer unconditional love, and I truly believe everyone needs that in their lives. First responders & Veterans go above and beyond to make sure we all are taken care of. I can’t think of better way to thank them than the love and support of a service dog.”

About IOWA Service Dogs

IOWA Service Dogs is dedicated to helping first responders and Veterans who have served our country reintegrate into civilian life by training/providing mobility and psychiatric service dogs at no charge.

Where is IOWA Service Dogs located?
Based out of West Des Moines, IA, the local non-profit serves all of Iowa and the surrounding states.

What type of dogs are trained to become service dogs?
IOWA Service Dogs currently trains Labrador Retrievers that meet strict health and behavioral clearances.

What’s a service dog trained to do?
As defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA, a service animal is:
Any dog that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability – including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.

“Our mission is multifaceted,” Fisher says. “We empower our first responders and Veterans with independence, through their service dogs, to once again be contributing members of our communities. And we educate our surrounding communities about the laws and need for service dogs for individuals with disabilities. This allows our warriors the freedom and confidence to leave their homes with their lifelines by their sides.”

How to help

Upcoming Events

2nd Annual Top Dog Bags Tournament

  • Saturday, June 25 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Fleetwood at Saylorville (map)

3rd Anniversary Celebration

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Through the program, we care about and support local causes that make our communities brighter each month. Check out our calendar to learn about the people and organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact and making the Midwest a great place to call “home.”

We aspire to provide a community that supports our first responders and Veterans by increasing awareness, educating the public, and promoting the understanding of the beneficial relationship between handler and service dog.


Jamie Fisher, Executive Director of IOWA Service Dogs
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MFLCares about Project IOWA


Project IOWA is our 1st featured charity for 2022 and has received a
$1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured from left to right:
Eliana Harris, assistant to Jason Pleggenkuhle, Gaby Palacios, LMSW, program manager with Project IOWA, and Jason Pleggenkuhle,
licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending

DES MOINES, Iowa – Project IOWA is our 1st featured charity for 2022 and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“Eliana’s call about our selection to MFLCares’ 2022 calendar was so unexpected and awesome. It’s not often that we hear from the community praising our work like she has,” says Julie Fugenschuh, LMSW, executive director of Project IOWA. “Eliana’s enthusiasm of our organization ignited an energy and connection that was heartwarming. We are humbled and feel very supported and connected to our community — especially those at Midwest Family Lending.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them.

“When I came across Project Iowa, the cause immediately caught my eye,” says Eliana Harris, assistant to mortgage loan officer Jason Pleggenkuhle. “Decisions I’ve made professionally are due to the passion and drive I have to pursue something I believe matters — something that fulfills a purpose dwelling within me. This is what Project IOWA is seeking to provide to the community — support and direction to not only identify, but also to pursue a career that is more than a job or a paycheck. It’s helping participants develop the skills needed to connect them to a career that fulfills each individual’s purpose. It truly is an amazing thing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support them on behalf of Midwest Family Lending.”

About Project IOWA

Project IOWA is a workforce initiative that equips participants with the skills necessary to advance their careers. Its program leads people on all walks of life through self-exploration to find (or rediscover) their purpose, which can lead to a fulfilling, stable career.

Since 2011, Project IOWA’s programs have opened doors to discover self-worth, a career that offers a livable wage, and stability for individuals and/or their families. Whether you have a PhD or a high school diploma, Project IOWA has the power to change your life!

Everyone has purpose and value.

How to get involved

Donate

Help individuals in our community connect with their purpose and find a meaningful, stable career. Your gifts help give men and women on all walks of life the skillsets and tools they need to thrive personally and professionally. 

Upcoming Events

  • March 10 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom: Project Iowa’s next graduation — a great opportunity to witness all the growth and connection that happened during the classes!
    • The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom:
      • Meeting ID: 827 8322 0240, Passcode: 380833
  • March 21: Beginning of next cohort

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Through the program, we care about and support local causes that make our communities brighter each month. Check out our calendar to learn about the people and organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact and making the Midwest a great place to call “home.”

Project IOWA provides a much-needed service specifically in today’s economy. We assist those who are seeking livable wage careers in assessing and finding work that has purpose and meaning for them. So many people are looking to contribute and find meaning, and a career is a perfect way to do that.

-Julie Fugenschuh, LMSW, Executive Director, Project IOWA
Posted in MFLCares | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcing MFLCares’ 2022 Charities!

MFLCares logo

We’re excited to announce our 2022 MFLCares calendar! The selected charities include:

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Through the program, we care about and support local causes that make our communities brighter each month. Check out our calendar to learn about the people and organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact and making the Midwest a great place to call “home.”

Each charity will be spotlighted in its respective month. We’ll share how it supports our communities and how you can join our team to help get involved. All of MFLCares’ 2022 causes will also receive a $1500 donation in support of their missions.

“We started the MFLCares program in 2016 in an effort to create a conduit between our communities and the incredible causes within them. However, throughout the last five years, it has become much more than that. MFLCares is a huge part of who we are as a company. Each month, we get the opportunity to meet the real people behind these organizations, and it’s always both inspiring and humbling. We are proud just to play a small part in growing the awareness for these admirable charities.”
~Chuck West, president of Midwest Family Lending

Posted in MFLCares | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the 1st Day of Christmas, Midwest Family Lending’s Team Gave to…..! 🎁

The “most wonderful time of the year” can also be one of the most stressful. But this is especially so for families struggling with job loss, a death in the family, military deployment, a health crisis, etc.

“Many local families are facing a variety of hardships, which can feel magnified this time of year,” says Chuck West, president of Midwest Family Lending. “Although we would love to do more, we hope a little support will ease the burden for these families — especially during this season.”

Enter #SpreadCheer2021

Although the need is overwhelming, we’ve hoped to make the Christmas season a bit brighter for at least a few. Our team’s reached out to local schools, hospitals, churches, ministerial associations and other community groups to identify more than a dozen families in need of support and a little hope in the second year of our “SpreadCheer” project.

We’ve been sharing a bit about each family’s story on our social media channels.  We hope it’s opened your eyes to your neighbors and the families in your daily lives who are struggling and could use some help.

If you’re not already following us on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter, please do to keep in the know about all things mortgages & Midwest Family Lending!

“We find each year these families help us more than we help them. They continue to provide an increased understanding and appreciation for the incredible strength and perseverance of our neighbors and communities in which we live.”

Chuck West, President, Midwest Family Lending

ICYMI, here’s a recap!

Day 1 🎁 Derek Draisey | Eastern Iowa family w/a child battling a heart condition at UIHC Children’s Hospital

Derek Draisey, one of our home loan originators, nominated an Eastern Iowa family with a child battling a heart condition at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital to be today’s recipient. The child’s had many, long hospitalizations due to a complex medical situation, and the family doesn’t have much financial support.

The Draiseys know firsthand the challenges families like this face as their son Bryce was hospitalized there several times in the span of two years.

“We reached out to UIHC’s Child Life department because they have a special place in our heart,” Derek says. “When our family was spending a lot of time at the University of IA hospital, they were beyond amazing. They helped us through some of the hardest times in our lives.”

Day 2 🎁 Jean Holman | Lincoln, NE single mom of 3 living paycheck-to-paycheck w/no support & has been hit by “snowball” of challenges

Young Caucasian girl enjoying Christmas holiday

As the former head of the PTA in her school district, Jean Holman, our Lincoln Mortgage loan originator, knows a lot of local families are in need.

“I wanted someone who had children who went to Roper Elementary School because that’s my neighborhood and where my kids went to school,” Jean says. “I know there’s always someone in need at Roper, and it’s just been a snowball of things this family has faced.”

Jean nominated a single mother of three living paycheck-to-paycheck with no support. Within the last two years, her car broke down, requiring a new one, she’s been the victim of identity theft, and she lost income due to quarantining from contracting COVID.

“God is good — we’ve received so many blessings,” says the mother (who preferred to remain anonymous). “This just goes to show that there are great people here who care.”

Day 3 🎁 Marti Myer|Martensdale, IA family hit with COVID, father now fighting for his life

“This family’s had a lot of health issues thrown at them the past few months with COVID hitting the entire household,” says Marti, our processor. “With the father being in the hospital fighting for his life these past few months, it tugged on my heart. And I wanted to help them.”

Day 4 🎁 Hannah Vande Weerd | Des Moines single mom of 4 through Jeff Hill’s Future All-American Basketball Camp’s Holiday Giveaway

Hannah, our mortgage processing associate, reached out to Jeff Hill’s Future All-American Basketball Camp’s Holiday Giveaway to connect with the family she nominated. The organization provides Christmas gifts & food to Des Moines families in need. By her own family supporting the project in years past, Hannah’s seen firsthand the joy it brings, helping these families enjoy the holiday with “the things they’ve always wanted”.

“It’s amazing to see how these families may be struggling but are so humble with what they have,” Hannah says. “The family we supported this year is amazing and is so thankful for what this opportunity could mean for them. This SpreadCheer initiative helps families who are struggling to have a great Christmas.”

Day 5 🎁 Sara J. Fuller – Midwest Family Lending|Adel small-business owner (plumber) who, due to COVID, developed liver failure requiring many hospitalizations not covered by insurance

“Nate is a great, hard-working man who does a lot for the community,” Sara says. “As he was building his plumbing business, he and his wife got hit hard with COVID. This led to liver failure and lots of hospital stays for him not covered by insurance and time off work. They’re now left just trying to make ends meet. He is a very good guy that could use a break.”

Day 6 🎁 Kyle Guldenpfennig a.k.a #TallMoneyMan | Altoona Single mom of 3 who’s had a “rocky” year — husband walked out on family, reduced hours at work due to freak accident with child & renewed custody of child with special needs after 6 years

“I wanted to find a family in need in our community,” says Kyle aka #TallMoneyMan. one of our home loan originators with Team Chedester- Licensed Mortgage Originators. “And I knew that by reaching out to my church (High Pointe Church), I’d have the opportunity to continue to find ways to bless the family in the future. Desirae’s new to the church. But she’s already felt the love from many members of the congregation with all the donations, food and prayers she’s needed after everything she and her family have gone through this year.”

Grab your tissues for this heart-tugger, folks!….

“This year’s been rocky. I really want to say — and I’m a little choked up right now — but I just told my kids there probably won’t be a Christmas at our house this year,” Desirae said. “Your phone call has changed that, and I can’t help but cry. They are happy tears; I promise. Thank you!”

Day 7 🎁 Katie McIntyre | Spring Hill family scraping by to make ends meet, living in a camping trailer after home burned down on Valentine’s Day. Compounded by loss of income to the single-income household & one parent unable to work due to care needs of non-verbal, autistic child

“They’re in a really rough situation right now,” says a Norwalk Area Ministerial Association representative.

“It’s hard to ask for or accept help; we’re usually the ones helping others,” Carrie Ivans says. “But the help we’ve gotten has been amazing.”

“I knew from my church (Crossroads Church – Norwalk) partnering with other churches in the area to support our local ministerial association’s Warrior Giving Project that many local families are in need,” says Katie McIntyre, our marketing director. “When my kids and I picked up a giftbox to help a family through the project with some items off their Christmas wish list, I felt a tug in my heart that I wished I could do more. And when I heard Carrie & Greg’s story, I knew it was a divine appointment to bless them and offer them a little hope to help them get through this season. I’m so grateful to work for a company that equips and inspires us all to give.”

Day 8 🎁 Josh Brandt |11-year-old Norwalk boy fighting aggressive bone cancer, discovered by football injury

Caleb Moranville is a 5th grader at Lakewood Elementary in Norwalk, IA. While playing football last fall, Caleb took a helmet to the knee, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The X-ray led to doctors discovering Caleb had osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, in his left femur.

“We’ve been in total shock since we got the diagnosis,” says Caleb’s mother, Katie Moranville. “But had he not gotten hurt, we might not have caught it before it spread.”

Josh Brandt, one of our mortgage loan originators with The Smith/Brandt Home Mortgage Team has known the Moranville family from their kids playing soccer together.

“As a parent, I can’t imagine the nightmare they’re going through. And I wanted to help around Christmas time,” Josh says. “Helping others around the holidays means so much to me, and knowing I work for a company that has the same beliefs is amazing.”

“The support from the community — everyone’s been amazing,” Katie continues. “We didn’t realize how much of an impact Caleb’s made on people. And we feel the love that everyone’s sending to him and to us. We’ve shown some strength that in a million years we never thought we’d have.”

Day 9 🎁 Molly M Maguire | Yale, IA family consumed w/care needs of children suffering from brittle bone disease & other health issues

Both of Christopher & Sara Carmichael’s children, ages 11 and 14, have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease). And Jasmine also suffers from spina bifida, a bilateral club foot, bladder and bowel issues. Unfortunately due to COVID, the family hasn’t been able to rely on some of the non-profits it had in the past for support.

Both parents work as associates within the ADM school district to be close to their kids during the school day and home with them after school. That’s how Molly M Maguire, our mortgage loan originator who nominated the family for our #SpreadCheer project, knew what they’ve been going through.

“The whole family needs a break,” Molly says. “I hope this donation will help them to not think or worry about logistics, and maybe they can all relax as a family enjoying spending time together.”

Day 10 🎁 | Katie McIntyre | Indianola, IA family of 5 regrouping from lasting effects of tough year+ including loss, medical bills & Long COVID

Life has hit this family hard from every angle, intensifying the last year or so. Like many, 2020/2021 has affected their mental health, including attempted suicide and debilitating anxiety. They’ve taken on extra shifts & jobs to pay medical bills from a misdiagnosis and surgery for one of the parents as well as an emergency hospital stay and follow-up treatment for one of their teenage children.

As a CNA in a nursing home hit with nearly 50 residents who got COVID last year, one of the parents was forced to work overtime through getting the illness herself and see more than a dozen of her residents, with whom she’d developed friendships, die. This only complicated the grief she was experiencing from the recent losses of multiple close family members. Due to her continued struggles with the effects of Long COVID, she is part of a post-COVID clinic.

“Despite all this family has endured, they remain some of the most encouraging and positive people I know,” says Katie McIntyre, our marketing director. “They immediately came to mind when this SpreadCheer project was announced at work. Though just the messenger, dropping off their gift was one of the highlights of my Christmas season.”

While the financial support will certainly help, it’s more than that. It’s a sign of hope that there’s still good in this world for these families who need that as much as anything to keep going.

-Katie McIntyre, Marketing Director, Midwest Family Lending

Day 11🎁 – Taylor Fredrickson | Creston, IA single mom of 2 small children w/limited resources trying to keep up with going to school while caring for her kids

“I grew up with a single mom who worked hard to make every holiday, birthday, etc. special,” says Taylor Fredrickson, one of our home loan originators with Team Fuller. “Moms in general are superheroes. And my heart goes out to any parent in the position of trying to make ends meet. I love that we were able to help this mama give her kids an awesome Christmas.”

Day 12 🎁 | Mark Engleman| Des Moines single mother & Ruth Harbor alum who recently lost her job


From learning about Ruth Harbor Ministries as his #MFLCares charity last year, home loan originator Mark Engleman knew who to call to connect with a family in need of support.

Ann’s a single mother of a 2-year-old and a former resident of the local non-profit’s Mother-Child home in Carlisle, IA. Since graduating from the program, Ann’s kept in touch with her Ruth Harbor “family”. She often tells the staff how thankful she is for the opportunity to gain life skills and stability to be set up for success. She’s maintained steady employment and rented her own apartment. But, unfortunately, she lost her job right before Thanksgiving and is now actively seeking employment

“We all know how challenging it is to be a single parent. I’m grateful for the connection to Ann and Scarlett from Ruth Harbor through our MFLCares charity program,” Mark says. “It’s truly a gift to be able to bless a family in need like the DeBilios — especially at Christmas.”

Bonus Day! 🎁 | Curvin Larson through Pi515| 17-year-old West Des Moines student managing her household’s bills while maintaining a 4.0 GPA | & Des Moines mother of 4, including two children with autism, homeschooling due to the impacts of COVID-19

After founder & executive director Nancy Mwirotsi shared with us stories about some of the amazing families in Pi515, last month’s MFLCares charity, we couldn’t stop at 12 families. Curvin Larson, the mortgage loan originator/fulfillment coordinator with our #TeamChedester mortgage team who nominated the local non-profit for our program, followed up with Nancy to see if we could wrap a couple in support.

At just 17 years old, the 1st recipient had to take over managing and paying the household bills — all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

“I’m so grateful for this. Four days before Christmas I hadn’t bought any gifts as the house and bills took priority,” the student said. “I’ve found Christmas isn’t really about getting everything you want; it’s really about being grateful for what you have. I’ve had to learn a lot this year and wasn’t even sure we’d be able to stay in our house at one point. But thankfully, we’ve figured it out, and this gift helped make the holiday a bit more special.”

Pi515 is making dreams come true for these students and has inspired the eldest daughter of our second recipient to “take initiatives and give back to her community.” Her mother shared, “It’s making her a better person, and that is right in line with this 12 days of Christmas initiative.”

“The opportunity to call these families and give them these gifts is a really special experience that’s hard to put into words,” Curvin says. “Getting to meet them and hear about the everyday trials and victories they’ve experienced is something that really stays with me. Meeting amazing people like these families in our community empowers me to show this community the same love and support that I’ve felt from the people here. It’s why I made Central Iowa my home and why I never want to leave.”

“We wish everyone, especially these SpreadCheer families, a very healthy and happy 2022.”

Chuck West, President, Midwest Family Lending
Posted in SpreadCheer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpreadCheer 2021 – Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas By Helping Local Families

The countdown is on to make all the things come together and to cross off all our neverending lists. From shopping lists to holiday traditions checklists, we’re all doing our best to show our loved ones how much they mean to us (and to be sure we haven’t forgotten something or someone)!

The “most wonderful time of the year” can also be one of the most stressful. But this is especially so for families struggling with job loss, a death in the family, military deployment, a health crisis, etc.

Enter #SpreadCheer2021

Although the need is overwhelming, we’re are hoping to make the Christmas season a bit brighter for at least a few. Our team’s reached out to local schools, hospitals, churches, ministerial associations and other community groups to identify 12 families in need of support and a little hope in the second year of our “SpreadCheer” project.

This Christmas, we’re hoping to #SpreadCheer by donating to 12 local families in need throughout the 12 Days of Christmas.

Please watch our Facebook page daily, where we’ll share a bit about each family’s story. And we encourage you to do what you can to help others in need in your communities.

Josh Brandt, one of our home loan originators, nominated the Moranville family of Norwalk, Iowa. Their son Caleb 11 is courageously fighting bone cancer, which the family discovered last fall due to a sports injury. Watch our Facebook page to learn more about Caleb’s story and those of our other families.

“Many local families are facing a variety of hardships, which can feel magnified this time of year,” says Chuck West, president of Midwest Family Lending. “Although we would love to do more, we hope a little support will ease the burden for these families — especially during this season.”

Posted in SpreadCheer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

MFLCares Gives Back to Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515)

Midwest Family Lending’s Curvin Larson presents Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pi515 is MFLCares’ featured charity this month.

DES MOINES, Iowa – As many are counting down the days ‘til Christmas with chocolate, toys & even pet treats, it seems fitting our MFLCares charity for December creates opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering & math — hence, counting 😊) skills, work-based learning, entrepreneurship, and innovation for local, underserved youth.

Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) challenges, inspires and teaches technology skills to students with potential. Through innovative programming, the local nonprofit empowers refugee and underserved youth to achieve success, garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.

“We are excited to include another partner in our family of friends,” says Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pi515. “Thank you, Midwest Family Lending. Growing a community that shares our goals for making sure that kids have opportunities to excel is essential.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. Curvin Larson, mortgage loan originator/fulfillment coordinator with our Team Chedester mortgage team nominated Pi515 after learning about its innovative impact from local news coverage.

“I was looking for a new kind of cause for us to support through our MFLCares program this year,” Curvin says. “And I loved what I’d seen and heard from Nancy about what they’re doing to change the lives of youth in our community. Working for another organization with a similar focus in the past has made me a believer in the real world impact of organizations like Pi515.”

About Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515)

Mwirotsi, a Kenyan immigrant, has dedicated her life to advocating for underrepresented individuals including refugees, young women and people of color. She believes success comes from opportunity. While helping refugee mothers in the community obtain jobs, she realized that their children needed support too. She understood these students could be the first in their families to complete high school or attend college. And she wanted to create a pathway for their success.

In 2014, her nonprofit Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515) was born. And seven years later, Nancy and Pi515 have seen more than 100 students graduate high school and seek post-secondary education annually. She has provided these youth with confidence and skills for the future. These skills start with an afterschool STEM education. And this develops into a personal relationship with each student, allowing them to garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.

Giving Youth the {Code} to Succeed

Pi515’s vision is to ensure that Pi515 students are exposed to coding, innovation and critical thinking. Mwirotsi and her team hope to change lives by offering learning opportunities, exposing students to real-life skills and creating an environment that encourages determination to overcome problems.

This innovative non-profit creates pathways to success in STEM-related careers for diverse youth from low-income families. It does so by partnering with industry professionals who teach coding and other STEM-related skills augmented with career-focused soft skills. Industry professionals teach high school students and empower them to mentor and share these skills with middle school students. In turn, this prepares students for a future that includes continuing education and employment in Iowa’s growing tech sector.

“Work has shifted, and more so after the pandemic,” Mwirortsi says. “Current job listings indicate where things are going; most employers now require digital skills and automation to take over some jobs. We have been at the forefront of Tech-Ed innovation. Our model prepares kids for future work and out of poverty. We have seen 100 plus low-income young people get into college and careers each year.”


How You Can Help

Volunteer

Pi515 is always looking for community members who share its mission and vision to serve local students. By offering your time and talents to Pi515, you can help challenge, inspire and teach technology skills to students with potential. And your time will help empower refugee and underserved youth to achieve success, garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities.

Donate

End of the Year Giving 2021 — Give your tax deductible gift to Pi515 by December 31!

Upcoming Event: Girls’ Entrepreneurship Summit — 3/26/22-4/30/22

Pi515 is hosting its second Girls’ Entrepreneurship Summit through a partnership with John Pappajohn and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. The six-week program will support and mentor young women ages 11-22 to make their business ideas a reality. They’ll learn how to start a business, create concepts, develop budgets, and business, financial and marketing skills.

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Check out our calendar to learn more about the great causes MFLCares has supported this year.

The future of work is creating space to honor young people’s leadership. We will be driven by the desire to elevate young people to create, design and innovate to not just use future technology but build it.


Nancy Mwirotsi, founder & executive director of Pi515


Posted in MFLCares | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MFLCares Gives Back to the Urbandale Education Foundation

Midwest Family Lending’s Jackie Ezell (center) presents Meribeth Haynes, board president and Nicole Berger, communications director, with the Urbandale Education Foundation a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The Urbandale Education Foundation is MFLCares’ featured charity this month.

URBANDALE, Iowa – We’re proud to have called Urbandale, Iowa “home” to our main office for 25 years. And we’re honored to support the Urbandale Education Foundation (UEF) with a $1500 donation as our featured charity this month through our MFLCares program.

“This donation means so much to our organization as it will help us fund much needed teacher grants in the Urbandale School District,” says Meribeth Haynes, board president of the Urbandale Education Foundation. “Those grants pay for things the teachers want to bring to their classroom but current budgets do not allow.”

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. Jackie Ezell, our mortgage loan closer who is also an Urbandale resident, nominated UEF after seeing firsthand “how much these teachers take on” when her son was a student in the district.

MFLCares logo

“I chose the Urbandale Education Foundation because it takes care of one of our most precious commodities, our Urbandale teachers,” Jackie says. “I love the fact that UEF has been able to give out over $40,000 in teacher grants. It’s about time we take care of those who care and teach our kids!”

About The Urbandale Education Foundation (UEF) & How You Can Help

The Urbandale Education Foundation (UEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to enhancing the educational experience of all students in the Urbandale Community School District by funding projects and initiatives not supported within existing school budgets. Urbandale Dollars for Scholars & Urbandale Alumni Association are part of the UEF.

Donate to make a difference in the lives of Urbandale teachers and students!

UEF has established an endowment fund for building a living financial legacy in support of activities of the Urbandale Education Foundation including student scholarships, educator grants and alumni connections. Funds are spent as determined by the UEF Board of Directors. Contributions to the UEF Endow Iowa Fund are eligible for a 25% Endow Iowa Tax Credit and limited to an annual distribution rate of 5%. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please click here and you will be taken to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines website to process your donation.

Fore! Calling all golfers:

Save the date for the annual UEF Alumni Golf Tournament, which will take place June 27, 2022. And help set up local students on the path for financial success.

All proceeds from this tournament support UEF’s mission and the Urbandale Alumni Association by providing needed funding for Urbandale teachers’ classroom grants and Urbandale seniors’ college scholarships!

“As I’m sure most people know, our schools are severely underfunded, and our teachers work tirelessly to bring learning into our classrooms that engage the students and enable them to be productive members of society,” Haynes says. “This year we were able to fund 20 classroom grants totaling over $16,000. Our group also works with Dollars for Scholars to fund college scholarships for Urbandale High School Seniors.”

Learn more here, and join us in helping UEF to make a positive difference in the lives of Urbandale students, educators & community members.
Go J-Hawks!

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and to community impact. Check out our calendar to learn more about the great causes MFLCares has supported this year.

“We know the need to support our students & educators will continue, and we appreciate donors like Midwest Family Lending who help make this possible!”

Meribeth Haynes, board president of
the Urbandale Education Foundation
Posted in MFLCares | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thanks from all of us at Midwest Family Lending!

During this season of gratitude and always, all of us at Midwest Family Lending are beyond grateful for the opportunity to help our neighbors throughout Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado finance their homes and achieve the dream of homeownership.

Thank you to our customers, team, business partners and MFLCares charities for being part of our “family” throughout the last 25 years. It’s the people like you who make what we do what we love.

Sometimes words just can’t express our deep appreciation.

But really, “Thank you” from all of us at Midwest Family Lending…..

And thanks to everyone who was able to join us for our 25th anniversary celebration! It was so great to see so many of you.

For those of you who missed it, here’s footage from Urbandale Chamber of Commerce, including a message from our president:

We all have so much to be thankful for. One of those is to all of you who took time to vote for us as the best local mortgage company.

We’re delighted and honored to share that, thanks to you, we were again voted Best Local Mortgage Company in Urbandale Chamber of Commerce’s Best in Class Awards!

Wishing you and your family a home of your own, filled with warmth, fellowship and a feast to be remembered (even though we all know the kids will just eat the dinner rolls)! 😂

Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment