Warmth, color, texture, personality — these are the things that help to make a space feel like home. When your life is in crisis and “home” is a small room at a Children & Families of Iowa group facility, that warmth is an important ingredient to getting back on your feet.
In 2012 more than 100 employees of the Principal Financial Group® came together to bring some color — and hope — into the lives of at-risk kids living in Children & Families of Iowa group homes. Thanks to cash donations from employees totaling more than $4,400, hundreds of donated items and an unprecedented amount of coordination by 120 employees, 23 rooms received a much-needed makeover — just in time for the holidays.
After raising money in a variety of ways, such as through bake sales, employees of The Principal® pooled their resources to buy paint and supplies in bulk. For weeks, they plotted how to carefully spend their money in order to get the most impact for their decorating dollar.
Bare walls, ragged bedding and little more than a change of clothes in the closet — this is how many of the rooms started. After our volunteers finished, the rooms were outfitted with fresh paint, new sheets and blankets, bright rugs and curtains. Simple things helped too, such as new towels, toiletries and gently used clothing. Even seemingly small things like scented lotion and desk lamps made a big difference.
The kids and teens in Children & Families of Iowa care have faced challenging circumstances, and some even question their own worth. Our volunteers wanted them to see that people care about their futures — and left behind some friendly reminders, too.
For more than 12 decades, Children & Families of Iowa has been helping to restore hope and build futures for Iowa’s most vulnerable children and families. Beginning in 1888 as a small adoption agency, it has grown to offer a number of teen and family support programs, as well as services focused on domestic violence, childcare and mental health.
Our company’s commitment to Children & Families of Iowa over the years totals more than $1 million. The organization is consistently one of the top recipients of our employee donor-directed United Way gifts.