MFLCares About Forever Home Dog Rescue


Forever Home Dog Rescue is the August, MFLCares featured charity selected to receive a $1,500 donation. Pictured from left to right: Emily Barber, Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator with Team Chedester, Carla Hopkins, Forever Home Dog Rescue, Director of Adoptions and Fosters, and Kyle Guldenpfennig, CRMS, CVLS, Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator with Team Chedester

DES MOINES, Iowa – Forever Home Dog Rescue is our featured charity for the month of August and has received a $1500 donation through Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares program.

“With this donation, we can save more dogs”, says Carla Hopkins, Director of Adoptions and Fosters at Forever Home Dog Rescue. “This is always our ultimate goal!”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending team members nominate charities they would like to support. Charlie Chedester, CRMS, CVLS, CMA, CCS Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator with Team Chedester has personally experienced the positive impact a rescue dog can have on family life. Charlie likes the way Forever Home rescues, fosters, and monitors applicants for their dogs.

“After our late dog, Tye passed away, my wife and daughter really wanted to get another dog,” Charlie says. “Our kids’ kindergarten teacher was a foster dog family for Forever Home and talked to us about this amazing organization. We now have Cooper. Although he makes me vacuum more,” Charlie laughs, “he’s a really great dog, helps us teach our kids to be responsible and loving, and he adds a lot of togetherness to our family. We are forever grateful to Forever Home Dog Rescue for bringing Cooper into our lives!”

Forever Home Dog Rescue

This 100% volunteer run non-profit organization is committed to saving homeless or abandoned dogs in danger of being euthanized in high kill shelters. Rescue dogs are provided with loving temporary in-home care until they find a well-matched, carefully screened forever home.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Because all dogs at Forever Home Dog Rescue are in temporary care homes, there is no physical location to view the dogs. However, the entire process of finding your new furry friend is super easy!

  1. View available adoptable dogs online
  2. Fill out an adoption application.
  3. Meet your pup to see if it’s a good match!
Meet one of this month’s feature dogs! Phoebe is a 2–3-year-old heeler/terrier mix. She would love to be loved in a forever home. Click on her name to learn more. You can also check out other dogs available for adoption.

How You Can help

Adopt

There are many amazing dogs who are looking for a loving forever home. Click the link above to see and learn about the adoptable dogs!

Volunteer

Volunteer opportunities are many. You can help with anything from dog care to website updating, so check out all the volunteer opportunities for you and your family!

Be a Temporary Home

Open your home to a rescue dog. Love and care for them until they meet their forever family.

Donate

Give a tax deductible monetary donation

MFLCares

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and making positive community impact. Through MFLCares, we support and promote central Iowa charities. Check out our calendar to learn about the incredible organizations we’ve recently supported that are making a positive impact in our communities!

“There are so many dogs sitting in shelters. We do our very best to pull as many of them as we can and work to find them loving homes.”


Carla Hopkins, Director of Adoptions & Fosters, Forever Home Dog Rescue
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When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro

The home improvement shows make it look SO easy. Shiplap. Barn doors. Bamboo floors. More shiplap. And who wouldn’t want to take a sledgehammer to the kitchen cabinets that haven’t been fashionable since before disco died?

But take a deep breath before you hit the lumber yard. Some projects can be easily tackled on your own, while others should be left to the professionals. How do you know when to call in the experts? Here’s a handy chart to help you choose the right option, no matter the project.

The Case for DIY

A lot of projects that add value and livability to a home just require time and effort, not a particular expertise. And with the proliferation of DIY videos on social media, odds are good you can find step-by-step instructions to change out a bathroom faucet or install window treatments. The most reasonable approach is to ask yourself a simple question before diving in: “What’s the worst that can happen?”

If the answer is, “That curtain rod won’t be perfectly level” or “It will take multiple tries to balance this ceiling fan,” you’re probably safe to proceed. In some cases, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll eventually have to bring in a pro to fix something you did incorrectly.

But if the worst-case scenario is “Faulty wiring could burn the house down” or “Breaking a pipe could mean damaged drywall, carpet, and floorboards,” you’re better off hiring a professional right off the bat.

The Case for Hiring a Pro

Plumbers and electricians go through years of specialized training, apprenticeship, and licensing exams. They are experienced in navigating permitting processes (if required), and they are equipped with the staffing and equipment to handle complex jobs. They should also carry insurance to compensate you if a job goes wrong. (Check before you hire!) Roofers are similarly licensed and insured, and they likely have more experience maneuvering on rooftops than you do.

Which brings up another point: If the worst-case scenario ends in a trip to the emergency room and possibly a lengthy physical recovery, you’re better off trusting a pro.

Of course, sometimes it makes sense to hire a professional regardless of your ability to complete a project. Some projects are messy, time consuming, or both, or they may require you to buy tools you’ll never use again. Bottom line: Don’t feel bad about bringing in outside expertise so you can spend time on things you enjoy more.

Give us a call (515)252-7107 or shoot us a message Midwest Family Lending Corp.

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MFLCares Gives Back To HDSA Iowa

Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Iowa Chapter is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured from left to right: Michelle Grahlman Tuchel, HDSA Iowa Chapter Secretary, Lisa Hubbard, HDSA Iowa Chapter President, and Eric Smith, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending.

Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Iowa Chapter is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to help individuals affected by Huntington’s Disease (HD) and their families through support and services.

“Being chosen by MFLCares as a supported charity is both heartwarming and exciting!” says Lisa Hubbard, president of Huntington’s Disease Society of America – Iowa Chapter. “It is through the generosity of people like yourselves who share in our moto of ‘family is everything’ that we are able to live out our mission to improve the lives of those affected by Huntington’s Disease in and around our community. With your help, we CAN make a difference. Thank you!”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate a charity they would like to support. This month,Eric Smith, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Iowa Chapter (HSDA). The Smiths have raised both awareness of and dollars for HDSA Iowa in hopes of one day finding a cure for the disorder that has affected them deeply.

Midwest Family Lending team members join Team Smith in support at HDSA Iowa’s Hope Walk earlier this year.

The HDSA Mission:

“To improve the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease and their families”

About HD

HD is a fatal genetic disorder that deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities, usually during their prime working years. It’s described as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s simultaneously. The disease is caused by a gene mutation; any child of an affected parent has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease.

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is “the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease.” From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with Huntington’s disease and their families.

We work with people like you to raise funds to support research through our Center Of Excellence with hopes that one day we will see a world free of HD. We work to spread awareness so that no person is left to feel alone when learning of an HD diagnosis. We know that when a person is diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, the individual as well as their family will be faced with many questions, concerns, fears and obstacles. HDSA Iowa is here to walk alongside those individuals and families and supply them with education, support, resources and most of all Hope.
– Lisa Hubbard, President HDSA – Iowa Chapter


See what it’s like to live with HD in this ABC News story featuring two families affected by Huntington’s disease.

You can help!

Follow HDSA Iowa on Facebook to keep up to date on HD news and events.

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.

HDSA Iowa is here to walk alongside HD individuals and families and supply them with education, support, resources and most of all Hope.”
-Lisa Hubbard, HDSA Iowa

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MFLCares about Project Outrun Iowa


Project Outrun Iowa is one of our featured charities this year and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Pictured center (fourth & fifth) from left: Anthony and Lauren Long, co-directors of Project Outrun Iowa.

BETTENDORF, Iowa – Project Outrun Iowa is one of our featured charities this year and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“It means the world to us to be chosen as recipients of MFLCares program,” say Anthony and Lauren Long, co-directors with Project Outrun Iowa. “Midwest Family Lending’s support will help 15 kiddos in the Des Moines area OUTRUN whatever obstacles they are faced with. So, from the bottom of our hearts — thank you!”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. Josh Brandt. licensed home loan originator with our Smith/Brandt Mortgage Team, nominated Project Outrun Iowa after learning about the program through our #SpreadCheer program last Christmas. When delivering his #SpreadCheer gift to Caleb Moranville, an 11-year-old boy who was fighting aggressive bone cancer, Josh saw how excited Caleb was about the shoes he’d designed.

“Project Outrun makes these shoes possible, and I thought the smile they brought to Caleb could be passed on to more kids with the help from Midwest Family Lending,” Josh says.

#imnotsickbutmyshoesare

About Project Outrun Iowa


Project Outrun was founded in 2017 by Andy Shepperd out of Akron, Ohio. The non-profit’s mission is to empower and strengthen kids and their families as they battle cancer with the help of custom-designed “Nike by You” shoes. The non-profit aims to strengthen the kids and their families, give them a goal and a finish line. About 500 kids have been able to design their customized shoes to date.

When Lauren learned about the organization in 2018, she was inspired by its mission. She reached out to Shepperd about how they could help grow the Project and bring it to more children in Iowa. And Andy asked the Longs to lead Project Outrun in Iowa. Since then, they have been determined to bring joy to as many kids and their families as they can. Project Outrun directly benefits the hospital systems that serve the Des Moines area and surrounding communities with its mission and by raising awareness of pediatric cancer.

The Longs with Ruby, a Project Outrun Iowa recipient.

How to Help

Visit Project Outrun and Project Outrun Iowa on Facebook & Instagram to learn more and to donate. All proceeds go to custom kicks for kiddos!

“There is an immense need for pediatric cancer research, funding and programming for families that brings joy and support throughout their cancer journeys,” the Longs say. “Our unique program brings a tremendous lift to children when they need it the most. And all of this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community and caring businesses like Midwest Family Lending.”

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.”

When kids OUTRUN cancer, it helps to have the right shoes!

~Project Outrun
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Money-Management Tips to Help You Combat Inflation

Inflation may be pinching your budget, but it doesn’t need to derail your long-term financial plans. Instead of waiting and worrying about economic factors beyond your control, feel more empowered by focusing on these fundamental tips for managing your money.

Pay down high-interest debts.

Americans owe more than $860 billion in credit card debt, with the average person owing more than $5,900.* If you have credit cards with variable interest rates, you will likely see your interest charges go up, and this can make it even harder to pay off your cards. If possible, consider transferring balances to cards with low (or even zero) introductory rates, and try to avoid charging new debt.

Start saving for a rainy day.

Believe it or not, there is an upside to inflation: The higher interest rates that cost you money on loans and credit cards can earn you more money on savings accounts. Now is a good time to find a high-yield savings account and build your rainy-day fund.

Invest extra cash.

If your high-interest debt is paid down and you have a healthy emergency fund, put your cash into investment vehicles like a 401(k), IRA, or brokerage accounts. These accounts have a higher rate of return than savings accounts, but the money isn’t accessed as easily. (That’s why you want to have savings accounts for short-term emergencies and investment accounts to build wealth over the long-term.)

Get the best prices.

When was the last time you shopped around for insurance coverage, cell phone plans, or cable/internet service? You may be overpaying for some of these things, or you may be missing discounts you’re entitled to. If you don’t want to change providers, call and try to negotiate a lower price. Be sure you ask to be put through to the cancellation department, because these are the employees who are authorized to give the best discounts. (Sometimes just the threat of leaving is enough to get a temporary price cut!)

Cut unnecessary costs.

Trial subscriptions and memberships typically become permanent if you don’t cancel them, and you may not have noticed all the small automatic payments that are skimming off your bank account. Review your bank records and cut any subscriptions, memberships, or services you aren’t using.

Evaluate your spending.

It happens to the best of us. That tendency to eat out more often than we cook at home, or the desire to reward ourselves with clothes, accessories, or gadgets. We get a raise or bonus, but instead of saving or investing that money, we spend it as fast as it comes in. Time for a “tough love” look at your budget so you can rein in spending and find money to save and invest.

Hold off on major purchases.

Inflation raises the price of everything, so now is not a great time to buy a new car, entertainment system, appliances, or furniture. Delay as many purchases as possible and wait for prices to level out again.

Say, “Goodbye” to PMI

See if your mortgage payment is too high. If you bought a home with less than a 20% down payment, your monthly payment likely includes private mortgage insurance (PMI), a policy that you pay for and that protects the lender in case of default. PMI can be cancelled once the amount you owe is 80% of the home’s original value, but you must request this in writing.

Bonus Tip:

Though it’s the one of the largest decisions you will ever make, your home’s just one piece of the puzzle. Whether it be purchasing a new home or refinancing, our expert team works hard to find the best, customized options to help you achieve your overall goals.

We’re committed to being your trusted mortgage advisors for life! As changes to the mortgage market occur, our team will check to see if there are any money-saving opportunities for you or if your loan product is still the right program for your financial situation. We’ll notify you of these changes and whether there’s an opportunity for you to save money, so you will always know where your mortgage stands.


Did you know our team has decades of experience advising families just like yours through a variety of market conditions? Reach out today for a free, no obligation consultation to review what options could be best for you!

*Average Credit Card Debt in America, MoneyGeek.com

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MFLCares Gives Back to Can Play


Can Play is our featured charity this month and has received a
$1500 donation through our MFLCares program.
Pictured from left to right: Dylan DeClerck, co-founder of Can Play and
Kyle Guldenpfennig, CRMS, CVLS (aka #TallMoneyMan) licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Can Play is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

“We greatly appreciate the support of Midwest Family Lending and are honored to be chosen as one of the charities through its MFLCares program,” says Dylan DeClerck, co-founder of Can Play. “We will make sure that the donation makes a difference for the populations we serve on a daily basis.”

MFLCares logo

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

It’s no surprise that at 6’10” tall, Kyle Guldenpfennig, CRMS, CVLS (aka #TallMoneyMan) licensed mortgage loan originator with Team Chedester grew up playing basketball. And sports have had a “tremendous” impact on his life. He nominated Can Play because the non-profit’s goal of providing opportunity to kids (and even adults) of all ages and abilities sets them apart.

“Sports are a way to bring people together,” Kyle says. “I believe everyone deserves to have that opportunity and see what doors the world of sports can open for them — whether it be new friendships, strengthened relationships or just a chance to try something new. Can Play offers all that and more.”

About Can Play — Where Play Has No Limits!

Can Play is a non-profit organization that provides development and recreation programs to children and adults with a financial, physical, cognitive or emotional need. It offers a variety of programs for all ages and ability levels, including adaptive recreational opportunities, fitness programs and team sports programs.

Every child CAN PLAY. All children have the courage to play, but barriers such as limited family budgets or the need for an adaptive environment can keep them from participating. Can Play supplements the cost of recreation programs and adapts the play to the skill level for each child, creating the opportunity to play despite these barriers. 

Find a Can Play program near you!

Click on the locations below to register for Can Play programs happening in your community:

Ames, Iowa

Ankeny, Iowa

Clive, Iowa

Grimes, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Norwalk, Iowa

Saydel, Iowa

Urbandale, Iowa

Waukee, Iowa

West Des Moines, Iowa

Can Play’s Courage Program power wheelchair soccer team poses for a photo with their coaches after a successful season!

How to help

Donate

Your support of Can Play allows more children and adults to participate in recreation and athletic activities. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of children and adults.

Volunteer

Can Play is always looking for volunteers, including corporate group outings. The local non-profit was able to serve nearly 15,000 through community support including from about 500 volunteers!

Upcoming Events:

6/20: Can Play 10th Anniversary Celebration!: This family-friendly event is free to attend. There will be prize drawings, inflatables, an area for kids to play, a DJ, and free food and beverages all throughout the event.

10/02: Game for Good, Can Play’s annual slow-pitch softball game and youth baseball exhibition at Principal Park. Join for food, fun and a great time to raise money for Can Play. This year will have an all-star lineup of slow-pitch softball players and coaches including local sports stars. You also don’t want to miss the exhibition featuring Can Play baseball and softball participants!

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.”

“Two in every five people in our community have a disability or are living below the poverty line. Can Play provides adaptive and no-cost programs for these populations to make an impact physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally.”

– Melissa Clarke-Wharff, Can Play Co-Founder

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Reason No. 587 to Buy a Home — Pets!

Reason #587 to buy a home instead of rent? Pets are ALWAYS allowed.

Furry or feathered, warm-blooded or cold-blooded, pets give us companionship, connection, & unconditional love. Break out the chew toys, treats, and extra attention this week in honor of your furry, feathered, scaly, or … well … anything-covered best friend. They deserve it!

In celebration, of Pet Appreciation Week, here’s a spotlight featuring some of our team’s furry (and not so furry) family members:

In order of appearance:

🐶 Molly M Maguire‘s dog Lloyd & his snaggletooth
🐱 Eliana’s most snuggly, loving cat, Huey aka “Sweet Girl” and “The Snake-slayer”. Don’t let her sweetness fool you; she is ever so fierce. She hunts and full on attacks her laser, stuffed mice and platypus, and has caught a couple of snakes, too…yes, real, live gardener snakes!
🐶 Sadie “Foxy Lady” Pleggenkuhle. Jason and his family adopted her 3 years ago, and she appeared in multiple zoom calls during the pandemic. She loves having her belly rubbed each morning by Dad, and anytime she can spend jumping and snuggling Mom and the boys. Mom is definitely her favorite!
🐶 Marti’s dog Maverick may be shy seeing his own appearance but has been the office hit when he’s paid us a couple of visits!
🐱 Curvin Larson with an armful of his cute cats!🐶
🐶 Sara J. Fuller ‘s, dogs Gizmo & Gracie, who love to be front row for the lil’ space heater to keep them warm. If not there, they can be found snuggled under blankets, and they are often hard to find since they are so little!
🐱🐶 Taylor Fredrickson‘s rescued fur babies, Mojo & Jax
🦎🐱 Zach Smith’s crested gecko named Gizmo & Paisley, his very talkative cat who’s constantly trying to eat Gizmo. 😂
🐶 Katie McIntyre’s dog Butterscotch, who is usually smiling but tuckered out here from playing with her three kids

Call us today to get pre-approved, and begin your hunt for the perfect yard, sun porch or slip-free flooring for you and your best friend!

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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.”

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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
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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
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