From all of us at Midwest Family Lending, Happy Thanksgiving!

We are Thankful for YOU!

Though we may not be observing our same, time-honored traditions, what we’re celebrating remains the same — giving thanks.

On this and every day, we are beyond grateful for the opportunity to help our customers achieve the dream of home ownership. All of us at Midwest Family Lending are truly grateful to have you as part of our Midwest Family Lending family.

Despite the challenges this year has brought, we all have a lot to be thankful for. Though we may not be observing our same, time-honored traditions, what we’re celebrating remains the same — giving thanks.

Looking for some alternative ideas?

Here are some of our team members’ fave traditions:

  • Mom’s homemade pumpkin pie is my favorite. But it has to have real whipped cream with enough sugar to have a little “gritty” texture. No Cool Whip for this guy; I like the real stuff! ~Linden
  • We have a longstanding tradition of playing games together. The loser has to do the dishes. Going on 21 years of never doing a dish! ~Josh
  • In addition to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, my wife’s side of the family also has one that’s themed. Last year it was Greek, the year before that was Southern food and the year before was German! We’re all responsible for bringing something to contribute and trying our luck at making food outside of our comfort zone. We’ve had some flops and some awesome ones too. The Asian-themed year with the fryer in the garage catching fire was memorable for sure! ~Kyle, aka #TallMoneyMan
  • One of our family’s traditions is to say what we’re thankful for while standing in a circle and holding hands. ~Marti, our processor
  • The whole family helps clean the turkey and prepare the cornbread stuffing the night before Thanksgiving. Everyone has a task, and family tradition dictates that significant others have to chop the onions their first Thanksgiving with us. In a week filled with prep work for the meal, this is where Mom gets to kick back and relax. Her only job is to add the sage to the dressing. I’m not typically a fan of stuffing but this family recipe is legendary. ~Curvin
  • On the way home from visiting my family, we stop in Nebraska to load up on Runza’s (seasoned ground beef mixed with cabbage and onions baked inside a bread pocket). ~Mark
  • We spend the afternoon playing canasta while enjoying pumpkin pie. ~Jackie, our mortgage loan closer
  • Fighting over the leftovers — the stuffing’s my favorite! ~Molly
  • Usually I cook and we host my husband’s family. Due to COVID-19 it will be very small this year. But it makes my husband happy that he will have more leftover turkey, so I guess that is a win! ~Jean
  • My favorite tradition is ‘grazing’ and chatting while the food is being prepped! ~Charlie
  • Traditionally it’s the one time all year my siblings are all together. Then we have Casey’s pizza for dinner. ~Jason
  • Card games with the entire family after dinner. Yes, they’re for money, because everyone knows there’s no such thing a “playing for fun” in a card game.  ~Chuck, our president
  • One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching a movie at the end of the night with the fam! ~Hannah, our mortgage processing associate

However you celebrate this year, we wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving. Thank you again for making what we do what we love.


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MFLCares Gives Back to UCAN


(Pictured from left to right): Midwest Family Lending’s Jackie Ezell presents
Ron Markway, treasurer of
Urbandale Community Action Network’s board of directors and Laura Holms, UCAN executive director a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program.

The Urbandale Community Action Network (UCAN) is our featured charity this month and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used toward programs that support quality of life for residents of Urbandale, Iowa, where our home office has been located for more than 20 years.

“UCAN is so grateful to be among the great organizations Midwest Family Lending has chosen to support this year,” says UCAN’s executive director Laura Holms. “The needs in Urbandale have grown at a rate that has been hard to keep up with. So this contribution will go straight to work helping the most vulnerable right here in Urbandale!”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Our closer, Jackie Ezell, has also called Urbandale “home” for nearly 20 years, raising her youngest son here.

From growing up in a small town, Urbandale has always felt like a small town in a big city,” Jackie says. It has its neighborhoods, parks and kind neighbors. When I found UCAN through a mutual friend, I was impressed how the organization took care of Urbandale’s adults and children in need — through raking leaves for the elderly during the fall, gathering school supplies and winter clothes for children or providing free food for those going hungry. It is like the small-town church that feeds and clothes its community. To me, UCAN is the heart of Urbandale.

About UCAN

UCAN provides leadership and ongoing support for comprehensive community-based action to improve quality of life in Urbandale.

The 501(c)(3) citizen group works collaboratively with local government, churches, civic and community organizations, not for profits, citizens and the business community to accomplish common goals and to help make a difference in the lives of Urbandale residents.

The local non-profit’s a catalyst for positive community action by implementing programs to support its vision of an engaged, vibrant and healthy Urbandale.

How You Can Help

Donate

Holiday Helping Hands programs a how people can get involved to help

Hundreds of low-income families in our community have difficulty meeting their day-to-day needs. During the holidays, finding resources for gifts and a special meal is out of reach for many of them. UCAN has organized Holiday Helping Hands programs for families and those in need during the holiday season. Below is information on how you can get help bring hope this holiday season! To sign up to help please contact UCAN at Info@UrbandaleNetwork.org or call 515-278-3936.

Adopt a Family – Families in need are matched with individuals or groups who want to help spread holiday joy. When you sign up to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program, you’ll purchase gifts suggested by each member of the family (approx. $35 per recipient) and food for a special holiday meal (or provide a gift card to cover the cost of such a meal). You can choose to deliver the items to the family, or UCAN will coordinate a drop off using its volunteers.

At-Risk Teen Outreach – UCAN matches sponsors with Metro West Alternative High School students in need. The sponsor provides needed items (socks, shirts, hats, gloves) as well as items that teens would enjoy such as beauty products, gift cards, etc.

Santa for Seniors –  This past 6 months have been extremely hard on many of Urbandale seniors! UCAN provides many opportunities to connect with local senior citizens in need. UCAN’s Senior programs, identify those living in isolation, who have no relatives or very few nearby, and who have very limited contact with others. The charity wants to reach out to these isolated seniors and brighten their holiday season. It needs volunteers to donate cards, warm blankets, large print crossword or puzzle books, poinsettia or amaryllis plants and provide holiday treats. Each senior will receive a care package the week before Christmas. Volunteers are needed to deliver the items as well. Low-income seniors are also given a grocery store gift card.

Christmas Food Assistance – For adults without children, UCAN provides gift cards to local grocery stores to help supplement holiday food needs. Donations of gift cards in $25 increments are needed to support this program!

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 has supported this year.

We’re all in this adventure called ‘life’ together. When those in our community are hurting, we’re all hurting. UCAN’s programs provide opportunities to lift up a neighbor — to show that our strength doesn’t come as individuals but rather by coming together to make a difference.

Laura Holms, Executive Director, UCAN
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Serving Those Who Have Served

Midwest Family Lending’s Mortgage Loan Originators Earn Certified Veterans Loan Specialist Certification

Midwest Family Lending’s Molly Maguire, Jason Pleggenkuhle, Kyle Guldenpfennig, Charles D. Chedester and Curvin Larson have earned the National Association of Mortgage Brokers’ (NAMB) Certified Veterans Loans Specialist (CVLS) Certification. The team members, pictured earlier this year, represent half of Iowa’s 10 CVLS-certified mortgage loan originators.

In celebration of Veterans Day, we’re proud to announce that five of our licensed mortgage loan originators have earned the National Association of Mortgage Brokers’ (NAMB) Certified Veterans Loans Specialist (CVLS) Certification! Jason Pleggenkuhle, Molly Maguire, Kyle Guldenpfennig, Charles D. Chedester and Curvin Larson completed this advanced training to help veterans get the most out of their VA loan benefits, demonstrating their commitment to serving homebuyers who have served in the military.

The Certified Veterans Loan Specialist Certification enables mortgage professionals to expertly guide borrowers through the many nuances associated with VA loans including the program’s requirements, restrictions and exemptions.

“VA loans are an amazing benefit that veterans have earned, and it’s our responsibility as loan originators to help them take advantage of it,” says Charles Chedester, CRMS, CVLS, one of our licensed mortgage loan originators with Team Chedester. “But to maximize that benefit, veterans need their loan officer to understand and help guide them through their applications.”

Our vets deserve the best. We’re proud to share that Midwest Family Lending has more Certified Veterans Loans Specialists than any other company in the state – five of Iowa’s 10 mortgage loan originators with the CLVS designation work at Midwest Family Lending! And our team joins the more than 500 certified nationally.

“Serving those who have served in our nation’s military is important to us as a company. We hope our team members’ certifications are an indication of that strong commitment.”

Chuck West, Midwest Family Lending president

Today we remember all of the heroic men and women who have protected and defended our country. Make sure to give thanks to those who have served our country to give us the freedom we have today.

Contact us to learn more about our VA loan options.

They’ve protected our homes. Now it’s our turn to help them find one of their own.

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MFLCares Gives Back to EveryStep

Midwest Family Lending’s marketing director Katie McIntyre presents Tray Wade, EveryStep president and CEO a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program

EveryStep is one of our featured charities this year and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to support the local non-profit’s vision for all individuals to have access to health care and support services to live their best lives.

“EveryStep empowers individuals and supports families through healthcare challenges and life changes,” says Tray Wade, EveryStep president and CEO. “It’s clear that Midwest Family Lending shares our family-focused commitment, and we are so appreciative of their support.”

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Our marketing director, Katie McIntyre worked for EveryStep for a decade before joining our team. In her role, she heard firsthand the amazing stories of how the local non-profit makes a difference for Iowans during life’s most critical moments. Katie also personally witnessed its compassionate care when the hospice team cared for one of her grandfathers and and great-grandmothers.

MFLCares logo

“I’ve literally been moved to tears when hearing the incredible compassion EveryStep’s staff and volunteers have provided to families from all walks of life,” Katie says. “I’m so grateful to now work for a company and team that support the good work of our local non-profits like EveryStep. They need our support now more than ever.”

About EveryStep

EveryStep is one of Iowa’s oldest, largest and most trusted non-profit healthcare and support services organizations, serving more than 67,000 people annually. At least one EveryStep program is available to residents in every Iowa county.

Its more than 32 programs fill vital needs community needs. They provide grief support to those living with loss; bring care to those who are homebound, injured, ill or facing the end of life; offer education and baby supplies to new parents; and connect growing families, immigrants and refugees to the resources they need. These programs have been known under many different names – programs like HCI Hospice Care Services, Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Amanda the Panda, HCI Giving Tree, VNS Home Care, Community Voices, Hospice With Heart, VNS of Iowa Wellness, Stork’s Nest, Storybook Project – and many more.

How You Can Help

Donate

Your kind gifts help Iowans to live their best lives.

EveryStep offers support and empowerment at the right place and the right time. Donations ensure that vulnerable Iowans may receive that same support and empowerment and that EveryStep may care for an entire family — not just its patients.

Shop!

Yes; that’s right — we said shop!

EveryStep Giving Tree thrift store is right up the street from our main office in Urbandale at 3330 100th Street. All proceeds from thrift store sales toward programs and services which benefit EveryStep’s patients, clients and their families. It’s the perfect place to snag some new-to-you furniture for the home we helped you finance!

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 has supported this year.

Strengthening communities is part of our mission. Life is fragile, and things don’t always go as planned. When people face life’s most difficult changes and challenges, we are with them, at EveryStep.

Tray Wade
President and CEO, EveryStep
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Is your home ready for fall?

Fall is officially here!

We’re surrounded by signs that fall has arrived! The leaves are turning brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, and pumpkin spice flavored everything (seriously, everything — even dog treats!) has hit the store shelves. While you’re enjoying all the splendors fall has to offer, it’s also time to get your home ready for winter!

Cross these easy seasonal maintenance items off your to do list. Then cuddle up under your fave blanket or next to the fire, and enjoy the season:

  • Schedule a service call to make sure your furnace, chimney and fireplace are in working order so they’ll be ready when you need them.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, and be sure to always keep extra batteries on hand.
  • Add weatherstripping and door sweeps to any drafty areas to keep your heating bill low.
  • Drain all outdoor faucets and disconnect garden hoses from outside spigots to help keep water from freezing and prevent burst pipes.
  • Seal cracks in your concrete driveway or patio to prevent water from seeping in, which can then freeze, expand and cause the crack to grow. Fixing small cracks before temperatures fall can help prevent more expensive repairs down the road.
  • Rake leaves (be sure to jump in the pile to fully experience the joys of the season with childlike wonder!)
  • Aerate and seed your yard to prep it for looking its best come spring.
  • Prep your snow blower, and you’ll be thanking yourself once the first big storm hits!

Fall’s also a great time of year to start saving up for Christmas gifts, spring vacations, etc. Have you checked with our team to see how much you could be saving by refinancing? Or maybe it’s time to buy a new home to make new fall memories in? We’re here for you! Happy Fall, Y’all!

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MFLCares about Bryce’s Warriors


Midwest Family Lending branch manager Mike Draisey presents
Michelle Draisey with Bryce’s Warriors Foundation a $2020 donation through the local mortgage company’s MFLCares program.

Bryce’s Warriors is our featured charity this month and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program.

“We’re so grateful to Midwest Family Lending for this very generous donation,” says Bryce’s Warriors Foundation’s Michelle Draisey. “It will go a long way in helping Bryce’s Warriors accomplish our mission of assisting transplant families and providing scholarships.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Though each of the charities MFLCares supports throughout the year is meaningful to our team, Bryce’s Warriors Foundation holds a special significance. Bryce was the son of one of our loan officers, Derek Draisey and nephew of branch manager Mike Draisey. Bryce’s memory and impact lives on through the foundation in his name.

“I’m grateful to work for a company that supports the memory of our son and keeps helping us raise funds to help other transplant families and high school seniors in need in our community,” Derek says. “It’s people and businesses like Midwest Family Lending that have enabled us to find new areas where we can make an impact in the lives of these children and their families while remembering Bryce.”

About Bryce’s Warriors

Bryce’s Warriors Foundation supports the Bryce Draisey Memorial Dollars for Scholars scholarship fund, families of children waiting for and who have had heart transplants, Children’s Miracle Network and Iowa Donor Network. Funds raised through the Foundation also provide Thanksgiving meals to children and families in the PICU at University of Iowa Hospitals, as well as food and gas cards to those families in need while a child is living at the hospital. The Foundation is also looking into additional options to expand its assistance to families of transplant children.

Learn more about Bryce’s Warriors Foundation and its four missions here. Bryce was proud to spread his story to as many people as he could to create awareness for organ donation. In doing this, he also spread a story of love, courage, and forgiveness that all who knew him will remember.

Remembering Bryce

Bryce Draisey was a happy and presumably healthy 11-year-old boy when he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Over the next 2+ years, he endured several surgeries, including a heart transplant, rejection of his new heart, many hospital stays and many other health complications that arose during that time. Bryce endured all of this believing that each day is a new one and the trials, sadness, or anger that may have happened yesterday no longer matter today. He took his health problems seriously and complied with all of his doctors’ instructions, but he also took all of it in stride most of the time. Bryce just wanted to be a normal teenager who went to school and had fun with friends.

How You Can Help

The majority of Bryce’s Warrior’s funds are raised through an annual golf tournament typically held each September. Unfortunately, like many charity events this year, the Foundation made the difficult decision not to hold the event due to COVID-19. Thus, donations are more important than ever to help support the Foundation’s mission.


“We will still be donating to our favorite organizations that helped us so much while Bryce was sick as well as to provide scholarships to seniors in need in our community,” Michelle says. “And if the hospital will allow, we will still be catering Thanksgiving dinner to the PICU as well. We’re also looking at different ways to expand our assistance to families of transplant kiddos.”

To donate, checks may be mailed to:

Bryce’s Warriors, Inc.
PO Box 42131
Urbandale, IA 50323-3855

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.

Our hearts are full; as due to the strange and difficult time we are in, Midwest Family Lending’s generosity may make an even bigger impact than ever before.”

Michelle Draisey, Bryce’s Warriors Foundation and mother of Bryce
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MFLCares Gives Back to Iowa Able Foundation

Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator Kyle Guldenpfennig, CVLS (pictured left) presents a $2020 donation on behalf of Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares program to
Anna Magnusson, (right) executive director of Iowa Able Foundation.

Iowa Able Foundation is our featured charity this month and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to support the local non-profit’s mission to help people of all abilities become financially independent.

“The Iowa Able Foundation is not only proud and honored to have been selected as the cause of the month for MFLCares in August, but we also greatly appreciate that Midwest Family Lending supports its team members giving of their time and talents to nonprofit organizations,” says Anna Magnusson, executive director of Iowa Able Foundation. “It means so much to our team that Midwest Family Lending is a partner in serving Iowans who need financial assistance to acquire the products and services required to achieve independence.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Kyle
Guldenpfennig, CVLS, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Iowa Able Foundation. Kyle is the Foundation’s executive board secretary. He was looking to get involved in the community and a mutual friend connected him with Anna. He was inspired to join Iowa Able Foundation because of the impact his late aunt’s work as a special education teacher for preschoolers had on him.

“I nominated the Iowa Able Foundation for the MFLCares program because of the hard work and dedication I’ve seen demonstrated daily in moving the mission and its members forward to support people with all abilities in communities around the state,” Kyle says. “With a personal connection to someone who gave her life to supporting the disability community, I felt a strong urge to connect with and give back to those who need our support the most!”

About Iowa Able Foundation

The Iowa Able Foundation is a statewide non-profit organization that helps people of all abilities become financially independent by providing solutions to financial needs and empowering them to achieve their financial goals.

Throughout the past 25 years the Foundation has been dedicated to developing a highly effective model that moves Iowans from a place of financial insecurity to empowerment through its Financial Solutions and Financial Empowerment programs.

Iowa Able Foundation provides immediate, short-term financial relief. Its Financial Solutions program focuses on getting Iowans the immediate financial relief they need to achieve independence. This relief can come in the form of a traditional, credit builder or forgivable loan. The Foundation currently offers the following loan products:

  • Home Modification
  • Vehicle Modification
  • Assistive Technology
  • Service Animal
  • Credit Builder

Iowa Able Foundation also helps Iowans achieve long-term financial stability. Its financial empowerment program focuses on helping Iowans gain the financial skills, knowledge and habits they need to maintain independence. Iowa Able coaches work one-on-one with Iowans to establish and follow personalized plans centered around long-term financial goals. Its model is specifically designed to benefit those who need it most.

What’s New

The financial impact of COVID-19 has hit the disabled community particularly hard. Many Iowans with disabilities are not able to afford equipment that is essential for independent living, such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, vehicle or home modifications, prosthetics and more.

To ensure access to all, earlier this summer Iowa Able Foundation began piloting expanded loan options and lowered interest rates in Black Hawk, Polk and Story Counties. Those with the least ability to pay are given the lowest interest rates. Interest rates range from 0-4 percent for loan applicants who participate in the financial education program, which includes coaching services.

Expanded loan options mean more needs can be met. In addition to providing loans for disability-assistance equipment, loans are available to Iowans with disabilities for home or vehicle repair, vehicle purchase, service animals, educational needs, and equipment for self-employment.

How You Can Help

Spread the Word and Invest in Iowans!

Encourage those who might need assistance to apply and invest in Iowans.

“Everyone should care about what Iowa Able Foundation is doing because everyone knows someone who uses assisted technology – be it a hearing aid, wheelchair, etc. And none of us know what the future holds; we may need it too.”

-Kyle Guldenpfennig, CVLS, licensed mortgage loan originator with 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. Check out our calendar to learn more about the great causes MFLCares has supported this year.

“The pandemic has only increased the need for our assistance. Because Midwest Family Lending cares about our community, together we can increase access to financial resources to enrich the lives of Iowans who need our help.”

-Anna Magnusson, Executive Director of Iowa Able Foundation
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MFLCares Donates $2020 to Urbandale Food Pantry, Encourages Community to Support Upcoming Bike Fundraiser

Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator Mike Draisey (pictured left) presents a $2020 donation on behalf of Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares program to Patty Sneddon-Kisting,
(right), executive director of the Urbandale Food Pantry.

The Urbandale Food Pantry is one of our featured charities of 2020 and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used to provide local food assistance with dignity and compassion.

“The Urbandale Food Pantry is truly grateful for being selected as a recipient of Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares program — especially this year,” says Patty Sneddon-Kisting, executive director of the Urbandale Food Pantry. “We have been working hard to ensure families have access to food. We’ve increased our food rescue program, have seen a record number of new families visiting the pantry and have taken many precautions to prioritize the safety of our staff, volunteers, and families.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Mike Draisey, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Urbandale Food Pantry, recognizing the increased need due to the pandemic.

“With so many impacted by COVID-19 and the large numbers of job loss, food pantries have been on the front lines supporting our communities through these tough times,” Mike says. “I wanted to donate to a local organization that could help as many in need as possible. And it was important to me to give back to the community that has treated us so well for the more than 20 years we’ve had our main office here.”

According to Feeding America, a network of nationwide food pantries, from March through the end of June, food banks across the nation distributed more than 1.9 billion meals. The network estimates that 1 in 6 Americans could face hunger as a result of the pandemic and that more than 50,000 people in Polk County identify as food insecure.

About the Urbandale Food Pantry

The Urbandale Food Pantry is a collaborative community effort to reach out to its neighbors to provide food assistance with dignity and compassion. The Pantry is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization that partners with the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), Hunger Free Polk County, the Urbandale Ministerial Alliance, local churches, civic organizations, city and county officials and area residents to provide supplemental food for those with need in Polk County.

Since opening in 2008, the average number of individuals served per month has steadily grown. Since the Urbandale Food Pantry began serving residents throughout Polk County in 2016, it has doubled the amount of clients it serves each month.

Who They Serve

The Urbandale Food Pantry offers food to anyone who needs it in Polk County – no questions asked. It provides customized meals to each family’s size and specific dietary needs, including fresh bread and produce (when available) and a wide selection of refrigerated and frozen foods. And the Pantry goes beyond providing food to families in need. It also offers basic hygiene products to empower its clients to live lives with dignity and confidence.

How You Can Help

Donate

The Urbandale Food Pantry relies on monetary, in-kind and community donations to support its mission. Check out its website for a list of items it can/cannot accept and to donate.

Volunteer

Volunteers are the foundation of the Urbandale Food Pantry, keeping the shelves stocked, walking alongside clients to find food, traveling around Polk County picking up donations, and serving as the face of the Pantry. Click here to learn how you can help.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, Sept. 27: Pedal for the Pantry: Virtual bike ride benefiting the Urbandale Food Pantry! Ride on your favorite trail or as a VIP riding with a trainer and local celebrities. Just be sure to register by September 9 to receive your t-shirt.

“It is through generous community support like that from Midwest Family Lending that we are able to continue the great work the Urbandale Food Pantry is doing.”


-Patty Sneddon-Kisting, executive director of the Urbandale Food Pantry

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.

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MFLCares Gives Back to 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 $2020 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.

“HDSA Iowa has a longstanding, strong relationship with Midwest Family Lending,says Andrea Bauer, president of Huntington’s Disease Society of America – Iowa Chapter. “We appreciate the compassionate employees at MFLC who truly want to support the community and well-being of the residences. We feel part of the MFLC Family.

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. 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.

“I nominated HDSA Iowa because my brother Bill has HD, and my brother Mark passed away from complications of HD last month,” Eric says. “It’s a genetic disorder that my siblings and children have a 50/50 chance of getting. We want to raise awareness and money for this organization so they can continue to support families with HD and one day 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 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

A recent ABC News story featuring two families affected by Huntington’s disease depicting what it’s like to live with HD.

How You Can Help

Donate

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, August 29: Crusin’ for a Cure is a classic car/motorcycle tour to help bring awareness to Huntington’s Disease.

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.

“While there is still no cure for HD, today there’s more hope than ever that we can beat this disease. Until then, our chapter strives to support our HD families, knowing that while research provides hope for the future, we must care for our HD community today.”


-Andrea Bauer, HDSA Iowa
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MFLCares Gives Back To Dorothy’s House

Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator Molly Maguire (pictured right) presents a $2020 donation on behalf of Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares program to Kellie Markey (left), founder and executive director of Dorothy’s House.

Dorothy’s House is our featured charity this month and has received a $2020 donation through our MFLCares program. The funds will be used in support of the local non-profit’s mission to provide a safe place for human trafficking and exploitation survivors.

“Being selected by Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares Program is continued evidence that this community believes we need to provide services to survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation in Iowa,” says Kellie Markey, founder and executive director of Dorothy’s House. “This extremely generous gift will be used to continue to subsidize housing for three of our participants for an extra month.  We are very grateful to continue offering this service to our survivors.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending employees nominate and select one cause a month to support that is dear to their hearts. Molly Maguire, licensed mortgage loan originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Dorothy’s House after a close friend told her about local human trafficking.

“Like many, I wasn’t aware that Central Iowa is a hot spot due to the 80/35 corridor,” Molly says. “I wanted to learn more and help bring awareness to this troubling and largely unnoticed crime.”

About Dorothy’s House

Dorothy’s House is a long-term, residential home that provides sex trafficking survivors with the space, resources and support needed to find their healing journey. Located in a beautiful home environment, girls have a chance to rediscover the person they were born to become. Dorothy’s House has partnered with several community members and organizations to provide a wide range of services to help them manage their trauma triggers. Through providing basic needs within a secure home environment, they are given the opportunity to recover their bodies, hearts, souls, voices and dreams.

Comprehensive Care

Every survivor has a unique set of needs and personal goals. Dorothy’s House strives to offer resources specific to each care plan including:

  • Physical Health Care
  • Mental Well Being
  • Medication Support
  • Legal/Financial Support
  • Life/Job skills & training
  • Relationship skills
  • Community Engagement
Inside the front room of this beautiful home where human trafficking survivors are given the opportunity to recover their bodies, hearts, souls, voices and dreams.

What’s New

Dorothy’s House will begin taking new participants again post-pandemic in July. Later this year the program will also begin serving all survivors of human trafficking and exploitation, including men, gender non-binary, those who have custody of their minor children, and labor trafficking survivors both residentially and non-residentially. Dorothy’s House will also continue to work toward building its second residential program in Des Moines with hopes of completion during the first half of 2021.

“For five years, we have been dedicated to providing a safe place for the practice of life for those whose lives have been interrupted by this terrible crime in our communities,” Markey says. “We look forward to expanding our services not only to young women but all survivors of human trafficking in Iowa.”

How You Can Help

Donate

Dorothy’s House is a 501c3 that depends on community contributions for operational support. In addition to financial contributions, current needs include:

  • Access to home building materials (siding, roofing, flooring, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops, drywall, paint etc.) or skills that would help offset our costs, please let us know at info@dorothyshouse.org.
  • Gift Cards (grocery, retail, coffee shops, craft stores, etc.)
  • Laundry/Dishwasher pods
  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Gently used home furnishings/accessories (inquire at info@dorothyshouse.org)

Volunteer

Faithful volunteers make the mission happen at Dorothy’s House. Please follow this link to submit an application and background check approval to get started. Be sure to note what talents you might like to share including:

  • Lawn/garden care
  • Window Washing
  • Tutoring
  • Mentorship
  • Legal Support
  • Hair/Personal Care
  • Dental Care
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Massage Therapy
  • Alternative Therapy
  • Exercise/self-defense/yoga
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Cooking Lessons
  • Outings/special events
  • Financial Management
  • Education
  • Writing/Journaling, and/or Scrapbooking
Touches of “Dorothy”/The Wizard of Oz may be found throughout the home

What’s Human Trafficking and What Can You Do About It?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline defines human trafficking as “a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.”

In 2016, Des Moines was named one of the top 100 human trafficking sites in the U.S. by the Polaris Project, the nonprofit that runs the Hotline.

Learn how to recognize the signs:

  • Physical abuse such as burn marks, bruises or cuts
  • Unexplained absences from class
  • Overly tired in class
  • Withdrawn, depressed, distracted or checked out
  • Brags about making or having lots of money
  • Less appropriately dressed than before or new expensive clothes, accessories or shoes
  • New tattoo (tattoos are often used by pimps as a way to brand victims. Tattoos of a name, symbol of money or barcode could indicate trafficking)

“If you see something, say something.”

National Human Trafficking Hotline ◆ 1-888-373-7888

If you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation: Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888: Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.

“Dorothy’s House is creating a safe and nurturing environment for a cause that is truly devastating,” Molly says. “It’s such a powerful program to rehabilitate and help young women recover from the resulting trauma.”

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.

“Dorothy’s House success has flourished on the knowledge that individuals, companies, foundations and organizations have all agreed that human trafficking in Iowa is a problem we must fight and be ready to serve its victims and survivors.”

-Kellie Markey, Dorothy’s House

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