Threads of Hope: Weaving together a caring, connected community

Crafting a Vibrant Community Tapestry

During life’s most difficult moments, we all need a care and support network to guide us through.

One of Iowa’s oldest and most trusted nonprofits, EveryStep reinforces and expands Iowa’s social fabric — weaving together a caring, connected community where everyone can live healthy lives with dignity and hope.

A Pivotal Support System

Threads of Hope is a new campaign from EveryStep to promote and gain support for our impactful pregnancy, parenting, and refugee/immigrant programs, which we provide free of charge.

Life’s most difficult moments are often turning points in the trajectory of our lives. Without a dedicated support network to rely on — or expert help navigating health and social service systems — challenging circumstances can become setbacks that last a lifetime.

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Subscribe to learn more about Iowa’s care and support network — including the challenges many parents and families face today and the solutions that help them thrive.

Iowa’s Care & Support Network

We pull the threads between the health and social service systems tight to ensure that no one falls through the gaps and no one is left to struggle on their own. And we reinforce and expand the fabric that connects and cares for us all.

As people become more deeply woven into the community’s social fabric, they are wrapped into a support system that shelters them from life’s storms and provides stability to move forward with dignity and hope.

Mother and father holding toddler daughter

What We Do

EveryStep’s care & support programs help refugee and immigrant families, new and expecting parents, single mothers, young children, and families facing economic barriers and health disparities.

Here’s a look at what our expert team does every day:

  • Assists new and expecting parents along their journeys

  • Supports the health and development of infants and young children

  • Helps families navigate our complicated health care and social systems

  • Provides at-home health care to expecting moms, children with special needs, adults with chronic health problems, and seniors

Blog Posts

The EveryStep blog draws on the in-depth knowledge of our expert staff to educate, inform, and inspire.

Click the button below for more blog posts related to pregnancy, parenting, and refugees/immigrants, among other topics.

Helping Refugees through Trust & Communication: Meet Sipo Ra

EveryStep case manager Sipo Ra lived in a Thai refugee camp until her early teens.

Read More

Why Giving Feels So Good

By putting yourself in the shoes of another person and trying to help them with what they need, you can build the area of the brain associated with empathy.

Read More

Helping Immigrants Like Juana Achieve Big Dreams

Nine years ago, at the age of 13, Juana made her way to Iowa with two goals in mind: to find her parents and to get an education.

Read More

Focus Areas

We don’t believe in using a piecemeal approach that addresses one issue at a time. Instead, our staff listen to people’s short-term needs and long-term goals, and then offer holistic care and support that touches many different aspects of their lives.

The diversity and breadth of our programs allow us to meet a variety of needs at once and provide ongoing support over time.

A woman in a red shirt with her hand on her pregnant belly

Supporting Healthy Pregnancies

EveryStep provides free, personalized, one-on-one education and health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women. Our nurses make home visits to offer education and support and coordinate referrals and interventions as needed. EveryStep programs provide:

  • Access to dental care and full Medicaid benefits when needed

  • Support from professional doulas

  • Crucial baby items — such as diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs, and car seats — to incentivize healthy behaviors

A mother and father holding their young sons on their laps

Educating Parents & Families

EveryStep ensures that families have the resources and knowledge to improve their well-being and create nurturing homes for their children. One-on-one educational visits focus on healthy behaviors, infant care, and child growth and development. Our programs provide:

  • Access to services that reduce stress, promote well-being, and address developmental delays

  • Support and education for fathers

  • Referrals to community resources

An EveryStep nurse with a mother holding her young son on her lap

Meeting Child Development Markers

EveryStep ensures that families receive screening and treatment for children’s developmental, medical, and mental health concerns — improving their long-term chance of success. Our programs provide:

  • Developmental screenings and support services

  • Screenings for vision, hearing, dental, and lead concerns

  • On-site consultation and training for early education centers and child care providers

  • Assistance for families raising a child with a disability or special needs

Two Black women standing beside a Black baby in a stroller

Advocating for Health Equity & Access

EveryStep works to ensure that everyone can access care and support services, regardless of their ability to pay. Through our programs and advocacy efforts, we strive to reduce health disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, and income — with a special focus on reducing Black maternal mortality rates. EveryStep programs provide:

  • Check-ins and nurse visits at home

  • Help navigating the complicated health care and insurance systems

  • Education about preventative health care

  • Assistance completing forms and applications for Hawki and Medicaid

A mother kneeling next to her four children

Addressing Poverty & Essential Needs

EveryStep works to help individuals and families build a healthier home environment where adults and children can thrive together. We address barriers related to transportation, income, housing, and chronic health issues. Our programs provide:

  • Connections to community resources such as housing assistance, food pantries, employment opportunities, and legal help

  • In-home health checks for senior safety

  • Help identifying household triggers for childhood asthma

Two women in headscarves with two children

Empowering Immigrants & Refugees

EveryStep works to ensure that refugees and immigrants can access programs and services in the community with the same level of care and support as others. Our programs provide:

  • Interpretation services in 25 languages and dialects

  • Training to help refugees and immigrants become professional interpreters

  • Interpretation, education, and advocacy for refugee and immigrant families involved with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) or juvenile court system

Turning Points

Life’s difficult moments are often turning points in the trajectory of our lives. The challenges we face can send us spiraling into a sinkhole that may take years to escape or give us a chance to reimagine our future.

Investing in a comprehensive care and support network means that Iowans:  

  • Get relief from the most urgent problems they face.

  • Get help navigating the complicated health care, insurance, and social service systems.

  • Get help communicating with health care providers, and receive check-ins and nurse visits at home.

  • Get connected with resources and other services that can assist with employment, education, housing, transportation, and other needs.

  • Get screening and treatment for children’s developmental, medical, and mental health concerns — improving their long-term chance of success.

  • Build a healthier home environment where both parents and children thrive together.

Investing in Iowa’s care and support network means that no one has to face adversity alone.

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Stay with us every step
of the way!

Receive illuminating articles and inspiring stories related to our pregnancy, parenting, and refugee/immigrant services.

Pregnancy Support Helps Kabita Raise a Healthy Son

During a challenging pregnancy, Nepalese refugee Kabita had to navigate insurance and transportation issues to attend her twice-weekly doctor’s appointments.

Fortunately, an EveryStep nurse was there to help solve her problems, provide education for the first-time mom, and offer a much-needed dose of hope.

Kabita holding her baby boy on her lap, sitting next to an EveryStep nurse

A Community That Cares

We gain a sense of purpose and fulfillment through the connections we share — not just with our family and friends, but as members of our community.

Jen Groves headshot

Jen Groves

EveryStep vice president of community health services

“We all need and deserve equitable access to health care and social supports, especially when we are the most vulnerable.

Folks come to us during the most challenging times in their lives. We walk with our community, navigating obstacles, advocating and empowering until our participants are confident to continue their journey without us.”

Renee Hamlen headshot

Renee Hamlen

EveryStep board of trustees member

“It’s very important to me to not only give back to my community, but also ensure that everyone who lives here has access to the health and support services they need to thrive.

EveryStep’s care and support programs help young mothers, single dads, refugee families, and children at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives, ensuring the fabric of our community is strong and bright.”

With You at EveryStep Podcast

With You at EveryStep is your go-to source for inspiring and informative stories about pregnancy, parenting, and community health, among other topics.  

Recent episodes:

  • Advancing Health Equity: From Policies to Communities

  • Mothers at Risk: Systemic Issues Impacting Maternal Health

  • Advocating for Equity: The Intersection of Maternal Health and Doulas

  • Unlocking the Benefits of Medicaid

With You at EveryStep podcast logo

Throughout our existence, humans have survived — and thrived — in communities.

The connections we form with one another get us through tough times. We show up for each other, no matter what.

The complicated circumstances people are caught in can seem impossible to untangle, but that’s where the power of community comes in.

EveryStep shows up when people need us most — no matter who they are or what challenges they face — until they’re ready to move forward on their own.

You have the power to help those who are struggling right here in your community.

Your donation to EveryStep is a powerful act, demonstrating that you believe in a community where people show up for one another.

Your gift to the Threads of Hope campaign, even a small contribution, becomes another thread strengthening the community fabric that binds us together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs extra care and support?

We all inevitably face hard times, but some people in our community are coping with more difficult circumstances. For example:  

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Why can’t family and friends serve as a support network?

For nearly two centuries, Iowans have shown up for one another, and that proud tradition still lives on today.

Unfortunately, providing care and support to our friends, family, and co-workers is not as easy as it was a century ago. Most of us don’t live down the street from our loved ones. Other responsibilities get in the way, and sometimes we simply don’t know how best to help.

Dropping off a casserole or sending a card are still signs of care and comfort, but they can't help someone navigate complex systems to find appropriate health care or ensure that a child has everything they need for a healthy start.

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Why do some people need more support than others?

The circumstances people face are often created — or made worse — by policies and systems designed to advantage some groups of people, while creating severe barriers for others.

For example, discriminatory lending policies have historically prevented people of color from buying a home, a key to stability and building wealth. Redlining practices have forced families of color into parts of the city that lack public investment and have limited job opportunities, fewer green spaces, lower-quality housing, and underfunded schools.

These conditions not only harm people’s health and limit their ability to thrive; they also make it far more challenging to work through an unexpected crisis.

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What kind of challenges are people in your programs facing?

Any unexpected situation — even a blessing like a baby — comes with complications. These unfamiliar challenges are even more difficult to navigate if:

  • You don’t have reliable transportation.

  • You don’t have family or close friends nearby.

  • You don’t have the financial resources to pay for extra help.

  • You don’t speak English fluently.

  • The services you need are simply not available.

Situations like these can spiral into persistent struggle and stress that further harm people’s health and their ability to move forward in their lives.

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Why do many of your programs focus on new parents?

Parents with young children are at an especially vulnerable stage of life. While doing the hard work of raising their kids during the most critical years of development, they often struggle with multiple stressors that can take a toll on the entire family’s well-being. This period is even more difficult for parents lacking sufficient resources or support. Parents have the best of intentions for themselves and their children, but they can’t do it all on their own. That’s where EveryStep comes in.

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How does EveryStep’s work make a difference for everyone in Iowa?

By patching gaps in the support network and working to remove unnecessary barriers, EveryStep helps ensure that everyone in Iowa has the opportunity to thrive within flourishing communities.

When all Iowans have the care and support they need to thrive, our entire state prospers now and in the future. Healthy families with solid foundations are less likely to rely on costly interventions when challenges occur. Parents and caregivers can more fully contribute to their work and communities. Kids are more likely to succeed in school and in life.

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What kind of state is EveryStep working to create?

Everything we do is about making sure that all Iowans:

  • Can access care and support services when they need them, regardless of their ability to pay.

  • Can navigate complicated systems to receive health care and social services.

  • Have the resources and knowledge to improve their well-being and create nurturing homes for their children.

  • Are treated with dignity and respect while receiving health care and social services.

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What makes EveryStep unique in the nonprofit sector?

Nearly all our services are one-on-one personal interactions with skilled providers. Our staff work with empathy and energy, striving to create an authentic human connection with each person they support.

Here’s why our approach stands out:

  • We’re driven by a single purpose — to care for people and connect them with support at every step of their journey.

  • Our programs have led to real-life results for thousands of Iowans who are now leading more stable, fulfilling lives.

  • We’re recognized experts at what we do — with decades of experience offering high-quality care and support to address complex challenges.

  • We are a trusted leader. Health care providers, government agencies, and other nonprofits can turn to our well-known programs when they need help with their most complex cases.  

  • We take advantage of efficiencies of scale, so that we can invest every possible dollar into our work.

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What are some examples of the programs supported by a gift to the Threads of Hope campaign?

As grants and other traditional funding sources continue to shrink, EveryStep needs community support to sustain and grow our vital programs.

  • Our Nine2Thrive and 1st Five programs partner with health care providers to help pregnant individuals and families with young children access additional services that reduce stress, promote well-being, and address developmental delays.

  • Our Nurse-Family Partnership and Community Home Visitation programs provide pregnant and parenting women education, screenings, and referrals during at-home nursing visits.

  • The Child Care Nurse Consultant program provides on-site consultation and training to early education centers and child care providers on issues related to health and safety.

  • Our Interpretation program ensures that individuals who don’t speak English can access these programs and other services in the community with the same level of care and support.  

  • Our Share the Joy program provides basic necessities, household supplies, and some meaningful gifts to families in need during the holidays.

  • The Healthy Homes Iowa initiative provides home health checks for senior safety and asthma triggers, as well as connections to mitigation solutions.

  • The Healthy Start & Empowerment Projects provide free, personalized, one-on-one education and health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women in Polk County.

  • Our Stork’s Nest and Family Nest incentive programs reward healthy pregnancy and parenting activities with “points” that can be redeemed at our Stork’s Nest store for needed baby supplies and household items.

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What kind of impact will my donation have?

As one of the largest nonprofits in the state, we can maximize every dollar we receive. Your gift will:  

  • Invest in compassionate professionals who provide expert care and personalized support.

  • Have an immediate impact — meeting people’s urgent needs in times of crisis and during difficult transitions.

  • Grow its impact over time — by preventing more expensive challenges later on and giving people the tools and skills to change the trajectory of their family’s life.

  • Support innovative programs that prioritize people, not profit, and that coordinate with other agencies to increase impact across the community.

  • Benefit your entire community by relieving overburdened systems and helping people live independent, productive lives that contribute to the state’s prosperity.

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Keep up to date, every step of the way.

Don’t miss out on informative and inspiring articles, stories, videos, podcast episodes, and more.

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info@everystep.org

Admin Office: 515-274-3400

EveryStep 3000 Easton Boulevard Des Moines, IA 50317

© 2024 EveryStep

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