MFLCares About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Midwest Family Lending’s Kyle Guldenpfennig, CRMS, CVLS, (left) presents Justin Bogers, AFSP Iowa volunteer and daughter Elisha a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. AFSP Iowa is #MFLCares featured charity this month.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Iowa Chapter (AFSP Iowa) is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to support AFSP in its fight to decrease suicide by 20 percent by 2025 through increasing awareness and education campaigns, suicide prevention research, and support events like the Out of the Darkness Walks, Ride to Fight, and International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

Having organizations like Midwest Family Lending, through MFLCares, choose to partner with AFSP Iowa is incredibly important for prevention education and awareness,” says Justin Bogers, AFSP Iowa volunteer. The cause is personal for me, as I do not wish for people to experience the pain associated with mental illness or suicide loss as I have.

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is meaningful to them. Kyle Guldenpfennig, CRMS, CVLS, aka #TallMoneyMan, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated AFSP Iowa after seeing firsthand the needed support it offers families affected by suicide.

“I chose the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as this month’s charity as it holds a special place in my heart,” Kyle says. “The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is something my family has participated in the past 6 years after the suicidal loss of my mother-in-law. This walk has been a good opportunity for us to get together and remember her and many others whose life has ended much too early. Mental health is a serious issue that deserves more attention and this organization is doing just that, bringing light to those that need it the most.”

About AFSP

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.

Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

“Our nationwide network of Chapter leaders and volunteers are making a difference. They help to create a culture that’s smart about mental health, and bring more awareness to their local communities about suicide prevention,” says AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia.

Suicide remains one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Through research we’ve learned that suicide is multi-faceted, and no one ends their own life for a single reason. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications are pertinent and while the pandemic itself does not cause suicide, for some people, pandemic-related experiences may contribute to their risk.

How You Can Help

Upcoming AFSP Iowa events include:

  • Out of the Darkness Walk – Central Iowa on September 19 at DMACC Ankeny Campus. Registration at Noon, event time from 2-4 p.m.
  • International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on November 21, 2021. More info to come on this annual event.

Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

AFSP also welcomes opportunities to present any of our prevention and education workshops including Talk Saves Lives. Interested employers, community groups, or individuals can reach out to Joani Moller to learn more.

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 need for these services is high and, sadly, growing in the state of Iowa. Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Iowa – in the top five for ages 54 and under. Our state ranks 21st in suicide rates per 100,000, and total deaths to suicide reflected a total of 11,470 years of potential life lost before the age of 65. We need organizational efforts to increase mental health services – particularly in rural Iowa. Together, we can #BeThe1to #BeTheVoice and give hope to decreasing this preventable cause of death.”


– Justin Bogers , AFSP Iowa
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Back-To-School & Property Tax Season Tips!

Yellow school buses are back running throughout the neighborhood.
You might hear the marching band out practicing for the big game.
And it’s a whole lot quieter within the walls of many homes.
Depending on your family, back-to-school season can mean change.

Maybe now you’re empty nesters wondering if it’s time to downsize (or to turn Junior’s bedroom into a home gym or home theater). Or maybe you need to tap into your home equity to create some structured home study/work space.

Whenever things change in your home, you need a trusted advisor — not a computer. Our team of licensed home loan originators is happy to help you review your options to keep you on track to meet your overall financial goals.

It’s also property tax season in Iowa.

You may have received a statement in the mail from your county treasurer’s office that looks something like this and are wondering what you’re supposed to do….

Part of your monthly mortgage payment includes paying local & state taxes twice a year. Taxes are due in:

  • Iowa: You can either pay for the year in full or pay each half by its respective due date:
    • 1st half: September 1, delinquent after September 30
    • 2nd half: March 1, delinquent after March 31
  • Nebraska: December 31
    • 1st half: becomes delinquent the following May 1
    • 2nd half becomes delinquent on September 1
      • Except in Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties
        • There 1st half is delinquent on April 1
        • 2nd half becomes delinquent on August 1
  • South Dakota: January 1
    • 1st half: no penalty if received by April 30
    • 2nd half: no penalty if received by October 31

If your loan recently closed, your tax payments will likely a bit different this year. Your licensed mortgage loan originator explained this at closing. But we know that was a lot of information! So contact your loan originator if you should have any questions.

Not a tax expert? No problem! We’re here to help! Contact your licensed home loan originator with any questions or whenever you have mortgage inquiries.

What is “Escrow?”

And if “escrow” is an unfamiliar term that sounds an awful lot like “escargot,” (not even close), check out this video from another of our awesome licensed home loan originators, Sara Fuller, NMLS #712200. Sara breaks it down with Mike and Holly Taylor, Realtors with REMAX Precision in one of their weekly #TerminologyThursday videos, where they cover terms frequently used in real estate and mortgage lending. And as a bonus, this one includes a cameo of Gizmo, one of her adorable dogs!

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7 Budget-Friendly, Midwest Road Trips for Families

Step one foot inside your local retail store, and you’re sure to see back-to-school sales and even pumpkin spice-flavored stuff on the shelves — signs that summer’s almost over already! 😭

But there’s still time to hit the road with the fam and enjoy another adventure or two! And the Midwest has some great destinations that are perfect for a budget-friendly day trip or long weekend!

Here are some of our team’s faves:

If The Great Outdoors is Your Happy Place:

  • There’s lots to do in Mahoney State Park, which sits between Lincoln and Omaha. You can stay in a cabin or hotel. Activities include hiking, a treetop ropes course, observation tower, zero-entry wave pool, miniature golf, disc golf, paddle boarding, horse trail rides, theater performances and much more. Wildlife Safari Park, a drive-through safari, is also just minutes away. – Jean Holman
  • Ledges State Park is a quick day trip where I love to take my family and dogs. According to Iowa DNR, this four-mile trail system is “one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations, especially for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts,” offering “breathtaking excursion amongst Iowa’s natural beauty.” The hiking is great, but the streamwalk is my favorite. Pack for a picnic. – Molly Maguire
  • The Rocky Mountains, Colorado. One of our favorites was renting a cabin in Estes Park. Not only is the scenery amazing, when you head into town, you can get up close and personal with the elk. And go see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre! –Eric Smith
  • A road trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota is amazing. Our favorite spot is the Roughlock Falls area tucked away in Spearfish Canyon. In the future, we look forward to exploring some of the caves in the Black Hills and the Badlands. –Curvin Larson

Did Someone Say, “Road Trip?!”

  • Northeast Iowa:A family road trip to Northeast Iowa is a must! The Mississippi River offers so many beautiful sites. Between Dubuque and heading north up the river and then over to Decorah is just silly pretty. The Marquette-McGregor area has always been a favorite. While you’re there, stop by Spoke Cave for a tour. Then head to White Springs Supper Club for some walleye or catfish. – Jason Pleggenkuhle
  • Omaha, Nebraska:

If You Think Life is Better at the Lake:

  • Back home to Silver Lake is my family’s favorite getaway to relax. It’s so peaceful on the water, seeing wildlife. We enjoy boating and jet skiing. But this small, rural community also has a nice golf course. And there’s a new coffee shop uptown. –Linden Heikens
  • We purchased a lake home on Diamondhead Lake a couple of years ago. It’s been awesome to get away with family to relax, floating on the water and boating. –Derek Draisey
  • Okoboji, Iowa:
    • Traveling to Okoboji has been something I have enjoyed since childhood. As we make the turn toward Boji, it’s always a contest for the first person to see the lake and say, “I saw the lake first! I saw the lake first!” A favorite place to stop on a hot day is for a Nutty Bar at Arnolds Park; they never disappoint. –Sara Fuller
    • Now that Spirit Lake’s our permanent home, we’re already at a place where friends/family are always coming up to visit. We spend a lot of time out on the boat. We feel truly blessed. –Kim Hinrichsen

Kids grow up, and tomorrow’s not promised. Take the trip!

“We didn’t realize we were making memories; we just knew we were having fun.”


-Winnie the Pooh

We’re here to help you map out your budget so you have room to enjoy your journey and life’s adventures. And good news — you don’t need to sell your house and move into an RV to do so!

Yes, you can skip a month’s mortgage payment through refinancing. And obviously, if you haven’t taken advantage of the near historically low rates, that’s money you’re missing out on that you could be putting toward your dreams. But rates aren’t everything either. Debt consolidation is also a great reason to refinance your home. You could shorten your mortgage term while saving thousands of dollars! That’s where you need an experienced professional, like each of our licensed home loan originators, who will take the time to offer a comprehensive review of your specific scenario and help you achieve long-term financial success.

We can help you get the most out of your money and put you on the path to your destination. Contact your loan officer today to learn more.

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MFLCares About HDSA

Pictured from left to right: Eric, Mark and Bill Smith at HDSA Iowa’s 2015 Team Hope Walk. The Smiths have raised both awareness and dollars for HDSA Iowa in hopes of one day finding a cure for the disorder that has affected them deeply. 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.

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.

Midwest Family Lending continues to be one of our biggest business supporters in the Des Moines metro,says Andrea Bauer, president of Huntington’s Disease Society of America – Iowa Chapter. HDSA truly feels honored to continue to have their support year after year. We love seeing the MFLC team at our yearly Team Hope Walks and Celebration of Hope Gala.

MFLCares logo

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

HDSA supports families with HD and is helping find a cure for this brain disease that’s passed down in families from generation to generation,” Eric says. Unfortunately, one of my brothers, Mark, passed away from complication of HD in June of 2020. And my brother, Bill and sister, Becky, are suffering with HD. With our support, along with that from the community, we hope to raise awareness and one day help find a cure.

About HDSA Iowa

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.

Its mission is:

  • To help individuals affected by Huntington’s Disease and their families through support and services
  • To educate both the public and health care professionals about Huntington’s Disease
  • To promote and support research directed at discovering a treatment and ultimately a cure for Huntington’s disease.

Living with Huntington’s Disease

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

How You Can Help

Donate

It’s not too late to donate to the 2021 Team Hope Walk!

Stay Informed

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.

“Huntington’s Disease is an extremely rare genetic disease with a small footprint. Having the support, awareness and advocacy from business leaders like Midwest Family Lending helps us grow our awareness.”
-Andrea Bauer, HDSA Iowa

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MFLCares Gives Back to the Indianola YMCA


Midwest Family Lending’s Katie McIntyre (right) presents Heather Hulen (left), executive director of the the Indianola YMCA a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

The Indianola YMCA is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used in support of the local non-profit’s mission to build healthy spirit, mind and body for all through programs and services that focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“Thank you for selecting the Indianola YMCA as your charity for the month of June. This generous contribution helps us to continue offering scholarships to individuals and families in need so that no one is turned away from the Y,” says Heather Hulen, executive director of the Indianola YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. “We are so grateful for your commitment in helping us to continue the Y’s missions of Social Responsibility, Healthy Living and Youth Development.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause each month to support that is important to them. Katie McIntyre, our marketing director is a dedicated member of the local Y. She nominated the local non-profit after seeing firsthand how it puts Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

“The Indianola Y and YMCA of Greater DSM have been such a blessing to my family and our community — especially with all they’ve offered to support both physical and mental health to those of all ages and income levels when many needed it more than ever the past year,” Katie says. “I’m grateful that through the Y, we can come together to model healthy habits for our children while supporting our community to thrive.”

About The Indianola YMCA

The Indianola YMCA is the result of a unique public/private partnership, with the City of Indianola, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, the Indianola Community School District and Simpson College all contributing to its construction and operation. The Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility guide its work in the community.

What the YMCA Does

The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit social services organization dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines strengthens communities throughout central Iowa by focusing on these areas of impact:

  1. Youth Development: Empowering young people to reach their full potential
  2. Healthy Living: Improving individual and community well-being
  3. Social Responsibility: Providing support and inspiring action in our communities

Five full-facility YMCA gyms in the Greater Des Moines area plus the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus and Y Camp in Boone, Iowa, provide spaces to play, to learn, to be healthy, to eat well and to give back. Everything the Y does is in service of making sure people and communities thrive.

More than 150 Years Positively Impacting Central Iowa

For more than 150 years, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines has empowered communities by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By the numbers:

  • 140
    • People call the Y’s supportive housing campus home
  • 18,000
    • Individuals given access through scholarships
  • 100,000
    • People served in central Iowa

Access for All

Through generous donors, the Y is accessible to individuals and families at all income levels. Financial assistance is available for membership, swim lessons, youth sports, camp, before and after school care and many of the other programs the Y offers. Eligibility for assistance and the amount of support given is determined on an individual basis.

In FY2020 the YMCA of Greater Des Moines Association averaged 42,188 members, of which 8,109 (almost 1 in 5) received some level of financial assistance. More than $1,500,000 of financial assistance was awarded in 2020.

How You Can Make a Difference

When you support the Y, you help give young people a chance at a brighter future, inspire healthy living and build vibrant communities right where you live!

Join the Y!

When you join the Y, you’ll discover new ways to connect with your potential, purpose and community. No matter where you are on your journey, the Y is where you can be, belong and become.

Volunteer &/or Give

The Y works side-by-side with its neighbors to strengthen the foundations of community. Share your time, talent and treasure at the Y, and change lives and communities, including your own. Whether volunteer to help with special events, coaching or mentoring youth or raising funds for the Annual Campaign, your skills and interests will make a difference.

About MFLCares

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 is supporting this year.

The Y is the leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community by connecting people to their potential, purpose and each other.

Heather Hulen, executive director of the Indianola YMCA, A division of The YMCA of Greater Des Moines
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Summer Bucket List!

Summer’s officially here! Here’s what’s on some of our bucket lists, along with some tips for having the best summer ever!

• Go to Okoboji, and enjoy the sun, the lake and the fact that we can go sit at a restaurant and support the local community! ~Sara Fuller
• Take a family vacay in August after baseball’s over and before our son leaves home to go to college. My wife’s a teacher, so I love her being home for the summer. Our family enjoys sitting out on the deck together. It’s fun to get to spend time outside with people post-pandemic. ~Jason Pleggenkuhle
• Daufuskie Island, SC. Try a new ice cream place. Golf with the kids each week, teaching focus, discipline, manners, respect, self-worth, patience and the ability to enjoy/appreciate their surroundings. Camp at least two times per month & invite friends. ~Charlie Chedester
• Now that Spirit Lake’s our permanent home, we’re already at a place where friends/family are always coming up to visit. We spend a lot of time out on the boat. The Iowa State Fair is my husband’s favorite. We’re going to catch Blake Shelton and the Doobie Brothers there this year. ~Kim Hinrichsen
• Explore DSM with the kids and maybe take a few trips to local zoos. With the zoo pass, we are able to get free or reduced entrance at other zoos across the country. That has already paid dividends for us. ~Kyle Guldenpfennig, #TallMoneyMan
• Boating and jet skiing at Silver Lake. ~Linden Heikens
• Catch up with friends and family. ~Molly Maguire
• Concerts: Blake Shelton (at the Iowa State Fair) and Garth Brooks (at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln). Trips: Heading to Colorado to see our grandson! ~Jean Holman
• Family fishing trip and golfing. ~Derek Draisey
• See a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre! ~Eric Smith
• Enjoy a good old, smalltown Fourth of July celebration in my wife’s hometown, including a parade and fireworks on the lake, which we couldn’t do last year. And, of course, loading up on Runza’s (seasoned ground beef mixed with cabbage and onions baked inside a bread pocket) on the way home! ~Mark Engleman

What’s on your family’s bucket list?

Contact us today to see if refinancing could save you some cash to put toward your dreams or to help finance your backyard oasis. With home values skyrocketing it’s a great time for a free mortgage analysis to see if you can get out of mortgage insurance. And if a new place to call “home” is on your list, we’re got you covered there too!

It’s sure been hot in the Midwest so far this summer. But did you now that according to NASA, 2020 tied for the hottest year ever?! Summer’s the perfect time to keep the house cool and bring the party outdoors. These yummy BBQ recipes from Jean, one of our awesome licensed home loan originators, are sure to be the hit of your summer picnic!

Smoked Beef Brisket

Ingredients:
12-14 lb. beef brisket, trimmed
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
3-4 pecan, hickory or oak wood chunks or pellets, depending on your smoker

For the rub:
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
¼ cup smoked paprika
2 ½ Tbsp. course sea salt
3 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. red pepper

Directions:
Brush or rub brisket generously with Worcestershire sauce. Coat entire brisket with rub and chill 1 to 4 hours (can do the night before and refrigerate overnight).

Remove brisket from refrigerator and let stand 1 hour.
Meanwhile prepare smoker: Temp. 250-260 degrees
Place brisket fat side down, and close smoker. Smoke 5 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket where the point and flat meet registers 165 degrees.
Remove brisket from smoker, wrap tightly in wax-free butcher paper; return brisket to smoker. Cook 3-5 hours more hours, checking temperature each hour until meat thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket registers 200 degrees.

Remove brisket from smoker; open butcher paper, and allow steam to escape for 2-4 minutes. Re-wrap, and let brisket stand in butcher paper 2 hours.
Remove brisket from butcher paper, slice meat across the grain into ¼ inch thick slices.

Smoked Pork Butt

Ingredients:
8-10 lb. bone-in pork shoulder roast (pork butt)
½ cup peanut oil
2 cups Season All Rub (recipe below)
1 cup Pork Brine Injection (recipe below)
3-4 maple or cherry chunks or pellets, depending on smoker
¾ cup apple juice

Season All Rub
¾ cup paprika
½ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup seasoned salt
¼ cup coarse black pepper
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. granulated onion
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. chipotle powder

Pork Brine Injection
1 cup apple juice
1/8 cup white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1/8 cup kosher salt
½ tsp. hot sauce
½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Season All Rub

Trim excess fat from pork butt. Coat port butt with peanut oil, followed by a liberal coating of Season All Rub. Using an injector, inject 1 cup Pork Brine Injection into pork butt at 1-inch intervals. Chill for 4-6 hours.

Remove butt from refrigerator, and let stand 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare smoker temp. to 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Place pork in smoker, close lid and smoke for 4-6 hours or until the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 165 degrees.
Remove pork from smoker, and wrap tightly in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return pork to smoker. Continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 200 degrees.
Remove pork butt from smoker; open foil, and allow steam to escape for 2-4 minutes. Let pork rest in foil 2-4 hours.
Remove pork from foil, and place on cutting board. Shred pork. Discard fat, and serve!

☀️ Summer, winter, spring or fall, we’re here to help you have room in your budget to have your best summer ever and live your best life!

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Don’t Forget to File For Your Homestead Credit by July 1!

Did someone say, “Free $?!”

In Iowa you’re eligible to obtain the credit on one property if:

  • It’s your primary residence 6 months out of the year. AND
  • You apply by July 1.
    • But you can file whenever if you haven’t yet (Hello, 2020 homebuyers who may have missed this amidst the craziness that was our world last year). You just won’t receive the credit for the year if you don’t file by July 1.

It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

  1. Visit: http://iowaassessors.com, and find your county.
  2. Search for your property.
  3. Look for a link to complete your homestead credit application.

How much are we talking here? It’s free money — does it even matter?! Basically, it varies based on the credits for which you qualify and the taxes on your home. But most people end up save a couple hundred dollars, each year! A.K.A. totally worth your time!

Already filed? You’re set for future years so long as you remain eligible.

Sorry, Nebraska’s not so nice. You’re only eligible if you’re one of the following:

  • Older than 65
  • A qualified disabled individual OR
  • A qualified disabled veterans or their widow(er).

Here’s more information for Nebraska residents including how to file.

Questions? We’ve got answers.

We’re always happy to help with all your home ownership inquiries and to help you save $! We strive to be a great resource for all things home ownership to our customers. And what we can’t answer, we can connect you with the experts who love what they do as much as we do mortgages!

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MFLCares about Meals from the Heartland

Midwest Family Lending’s Madeline Myer and Hannah Fuller present Meals from the Heartland Executive Director Greg DeHaii a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program.

Meals from the Heartland is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used in support of the local non-profit’s mission of “empowering people to save starving children”.

“We are beyond blessed to be a part of such a caring community that includes the recent donation from our friends at Midwest Family Lending,” says Greg DeHaai, Executive Director of Meals from the Heartland. “Donations are critical to our mission as we do not receive government funding. All ingredients are purchased with the generous donations of our volunteers, supporters and community. Meals are distributed to those in need right here in Iowa, across the U.S. and around the world.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause each month to support that is dear to their hearts. Hannah Fuller, our mortgage processing associate, nominated Meals from the Heartland after seeing firsthand the impact the local non-profit makes on both the lives of those in need and on those who volunteer.

“Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to volunteer with this organization on numerous occasions,” Hannah says. “They are changing lives every day, making a difference for everyone involved and demonstrating the importance of serving others.”

What Meals From The Heartland Does

Meals from the Heartland is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers who package meals for delivery to starving children in Iowa, across the U.S. and around the world. The 501(c)(3) is made up of volunteers from businesses, schools, churches, community organizations and beyond.

How You Can Help

Donate and feed a child. Volunteer and change a life. Give and make a difference. Every dollar and every hour you give could mean a better life for a hungry child, right here at home or abroad.

Onsite packaging takes place every Tuesday-Saturday at the organization’s West Des Moines Packaging Center. Or you can volunteer to help the hungry by scheduling a private or mobile hunger fight.

Donate

Each volunteer uses more than $100 worth of ingredients and materials to pack about 540 meals per shift. Ingredients are not donated to Meals from the Heartland. Donations help to purchase those ingredients. With your generous support Meals From the Heartland can continue its efforts to end hunger around the world and in our own backyard.

Upcoming Events

About MFLCares

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 is supporting this year.

A dollar. A volunteer hour. Small things like these can have a big impact. Support the work and mission of Meals from the Heartland and help save starving children — one meal at a time. Because every meal is an opportunity for hope.

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MFLCares Gives Back to Genesis Youth Foundation

Midwest Family Lending’s Charlie Chedester presents Sam Gabriel, Co-Founder of Genesis Youth Foundation, a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. Genesis Youth Foundation is leveling the playing field for immigrant and refugee children and families and is providing the support they need and deserve to be empowered.

Genesis Youth Foundation is our featured charity this month and has received a $1500 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to support and empower immigrant and refugee children and families in Greater Des Moines.

“We’d like to thank Midwest Family Lending for selecting GYF as an organization that is making an impact in our community,” says Sam Gabriel, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Genesis Youth Foundation (GYF). “Being selected means our work is appreciated, which is encouraging and motivating.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause each month to support that is dear to their hearts. With three kids of his own, Charlie Chedester, CRMS, CVLS, and one of our awesome home loan gurus, understands the important role community support can play in the overall success for children and families.

When a new family moves into the neighborhood, we rally around them to welcome them home. Some families move across town, while hundreds of families each year move across the world to settle in Iowa with hopes for a brighter future.

“If I moved my family to a place where the language, culture and community were foreign in every way, I’d be so thankful for an organization like Genesis for my kids,” Charlie says. “So from one dad to another, welcome to Des Moines.”

What Genesis Youth Foundation Does

All children deserve to feel loved and appreciated. But many in our community lack access, opportunity and support merely because of the color of their skin. Genesis Youth Foundation is leveling the playing field for immigrant and refugee children and families and is providing the support they need and deserve to be empowered.

Teachers, volunteers, board members, community partners, and parents
join to remove barriers and driving opportunities for success. Together they help bridge the gap for many families, empowering them through athletic play, education, dance and song.

GYF embraces the many languages of our community while building solid grounds where their play will become the work that changes the world.

Upcoming Events

African Leadership Talk Series

What: A monthly, online conversation series presented by African Service Providers of Central Iowa to address barriers facing African refugees & immigrants leading their communities in an impactful way. Central Iowa African Leaders discuss and identify strategies and action plans with other leaders to collectively better serve our communities.

Who’s Invited: Nonprofit organizations, national-level community leaders, faith-based community leaders, business owners, corporate leaders and social group leaders

When: The third Saturday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m.

​Where: Online via Zoom (comfy pants welcome!). Register Here.

How You Can Help

From helping with homework to driving the van and coaching soccer, volunteers make GYF’s mission happen. To learn more about Genesis and to discover how you can get involved, visit www.genesisyouthfoundation.org

Donate: Supplies, Funds or Sponsor a Child

List Of Supplies Needed: Gift cards, non-perishable nutritional foods, personal hygiene items, musical instruments, soccer gear, school supplies, gas cards, etc. GYF spends roughly $82 each week on gas to transport youth in Ankeny, Johnston, Altoona, Urbandale and Des Moines.

Looking for a meaningful cause to round out your charitable contributions for the tax year? Look no further than Genesis. Genesis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible donation will help provide opportunities for kids to engage through sports and the arts.

Your charitable contribution helps provide so much more than uniforms or the location to practice — it provides hope. Reward yourself with the knowledge that your dollars are helping us solve the challenges facing immigrant & refugee families.

About MFLCares

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 is supporting this year.

“Genesis Youth Foundation’s work is needed in the community simply because it helps bridge the gaps between African culture and other cultures in central Iowa. We work to level the playing field for refugee and immigrant youth and families to integrate and feel a belonging to the broader communities.”

~Sam Gabriel, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Genesis Youth Foundation
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Midwest Family Lending Supports Youth Financial Education Through EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee

Financial Literacy Month student challenge equips students ages 13-18 with money management skills

Compete for an opportunity to win a college scholarship up to $10,000!

Families across the country are struggling financially in the wake of the pandemic, from unemployment to career shifts to a reduction in income.
And with nearly a quarter of the population deemed “financially fragile”, this is a major social, economic and community issue.

With this in mind, Midwest Family Lending is proud to announce we’re sponsoring the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee nationwide financial capability challenge.

The Financial Literacy Bee gives junior and senior high school students a chance to have some fun while learning critical financial concepts during Financial Literacy Month!

This year’s virtual challenge will take place April 1-15, and we want the high schoolers in your life to be part of it!

The short, interactive lessons teach students how to save, set financial goals, budget and invest. After completing the lessons, students submit a short capstone essay. In it they share a short-term, medium-term, or long-term savings goal and outline how they plan to achieve it. Three winners of the Financial Literacy Bee will receive up to $10,000 in college scholarships!

How It Works

Students can participate in just 3 easy steps:

  1. Visit the EVERFI Financial Literacy Bee website
  2. Complete the lessons (~10 minutes each)
  3. Submit a short essay sharing a savings goal and how you plan to achieve it! Submission deadline is April 15th.

“Midwest Family Lending is committed to engaging its communities, increasing financial literacy and driving impactful change. And strengthening our communities starts at home,” says Chuck West, President, Midwest Family Lending. “It’s important to all of our team that students are given the tools they need to reach their financial goals. We hope the Financial Literacy Bee will help drive dinner-table conversations about important financial topics.”

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And follow along on our Facebook page throughout the Financial Bee challenge to learn more!

“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the financial vulnerability of most Americans, with 40 percent of American consumers reporting that they had trouble paying at least one bill or expense in 2020,” said Ray Martinez, co-founder and president, EVERFI. “We’ve always been committed to helping students increase their financial literacy. And during this historic time, we are also working to help parents feel more comfortable having dinner-table conversations about money. The Financial Literacy Bee is a fun way for students to learn important strategies to increase savings.”

Family in kitchen surrounding computer
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