New Opportunities

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Anonymous, Dallas County Financial Literacy
New Opportunities

Ms. Carol Bayer and New Opportunities,

I am ever so thankful for all of you not only doing your job but like yourself Ms. Bayer, also going that extra mile to do work that God smiles on. Thanks to the greatly appreciated help from all of you. My family has successfully overcame a small bump in the road, as families sometimes do. Thanks to you once again, we are feeling confident in not only our finances but spiritually as well as physically. Once again, we appreciate the help. Thanks!

Anonymous, Family Development Center
New Opportunities

A lady came in to make a donation of $200. For the last year, she had used the food pantry almost monthly. As I was writing her a receipt, she told me she will no longer be using the food pantry from this point forward. She stated that previously she did not have any income. But, recently she was approved for disability benefits and got a small side job. She felt that because she had received assistance from the Family Development Center, she wanted to give back. The kind lady told me that our services were a “god send” to her and she was extremely thankful for the help we provided her. Along with the donation, she also signed up to volunteer at our Center.

Anonymous, Family Development Center
New Opportunities

A gentleman, who has been regularly using the food pantry, came in to the Family Development Center. Just like usual, I began pulling out this file and documenting the date of his visit to the pantry. He proceeded to tell me that he will not be using the pantry today and in face from now on. I asked him if there was a problem or a concern. He told me there was no problem and in face, just the opposite. He continued to explain that he got a full time job and a small job on the side. With the income he will be making, he ensured me he will no longer need our services. The kind gentleman also went on to tell me how appreciative he was/is of the help we have provided for him. He explained that without the services from the Family Development Center, he would have had a hard time getting by and making ends meet. Multiple times he thanked me and told me how wonderful these programs are. At the end of our conversation the gentleman told me he would like to make a donation of $100 to help people that are in the same situation as him. He stated he wanted to make a difference in the life of someone else as that is what helped him get by for a period of time. I accepted the the donation and thanked him for the donation. I assured him it would go towards keeping our shelves stocked in our food pantry.   

Anonymous, Dallas County Family Development Center
New Opportunities

Early in 2014 we met a young mom that had recently moved to Perry Iowa from Virginia. She was attempting to start a new life after fleeing an abusive relationship. She only had an aunt that helped her get here. She felt alone and with no support. Through a new friend she found out about New Opportunities and got in touch with us. At her first appointment we were able to assess her situation and inform her of services available to her family. She was overwhelmed with all the support we were able to provide to her and her three children. We approved her for LIHEAP which gave her protection through the winter months; we helped her with food, clothing and other household items through our food pantry and clothes closet. She also received school supplies for her children at the beginning of the school year through our BACK to SCHOOL SUPPLY program. At the end of the year during the holiday season she was able to receive toys from the Marine Corp TOYS for TOTS program and a holiday food package for her family. She came to us early in 2015 with a big smile in her face and tears telling us about how we had made a big difference in her life. She told me about how we had been there for her during these difficult times when she did not have a job and did not know where to turn for help. She said she felt blessed to have been able to receive so much. She is currently employed full time, was able to purchase her first car and is taking ESL classes to better herself. Additionally she is a continuous volunteer to our center. She and her kids come in during our mobile food pantry events and volunteer their time. She says she wants to give back to the community as a way of saying thank you.

She is just one of our many success stories. Through our programs, networking and referrals we are able to make a difference in the life of this family and many others.

Anonymous, Early Head Start
New Opportunities

My success story is about a young mom I started working with this year.  She has 2 children, and very little work experience.  She also never completed high school.    When I asked her what her goals were, she told me that she wanted to  #1, get her GED, and #2, get a job, so she could help provide for her family.  I asked this mom what kind of work she liked to do, or what kind of job she was looking for, and she told me that she liked working with kids.  I suggested to her, that she give the school her name, because there is a daycare facility AT the school, and I wasn't sure if they would be looking for help or not, but at least, if they were, they would have her information.  Mom told me she would check into it, and one month later, this mom was employed by the school, as a employee in their daycare center. 

This young mom LOVES her job at the daycare!!  She says that it allows her to work with children, and the part that she loves the BEST, is that she gets to take her 18 month old baby to work with her, every day. 

Just today, I visited with this young mom, and she told me that she is now pursuing her GED, and started classes on Monday, April 6th.  She is very excited, and I can see in her face, and in her emotions, that she is a much more "confident" person today, than she was when I first met her.  She feels good about herself, and knows that she is able to help provide for her family, and now, she is working toward yet another goal, obtaining her GED. 

Anonymous, Adel WIC Clinic
New Opportunities, Inc.

A young women, pregnant and new to the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program was very appreciative of the assistance provided to her to purchase fresh produce. When the WIC nurse was visiting with her she stated she was struggling to buy fresh fruits & vegetables on her budget. She was very grateful that New Opporutnities WIC was here & that she could buy more fruits & vegetables with the WIC checks.

Anonymous, Dallas County Family Development Center
New Opportunities, Inc.

Claudia (not her real name) came into the New Opportunities Dallas County Family Development Center for the first time. She had recently moved to Perry, along with her five children. They arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few suitcases. She had no choice but to ask for help since she was not financially able to meet her family’s need by herself. One particular need was one of a kitchen table and chairs. Her five children were forced to eat meals on the floor of their completely bare mobile home.   


The Family Development Center sorted through their array of clothes closet items. Not finding everything that Claudia and her family was in desperate need of, the Coordinator Aide called out to the other six Family Development Centers of New Opportunities and other community partners. Through this helping network, the family was finally able to sit down for meals at a kitchen table. Other items that were provided consisted of kitchen utensils, dishes, towels, food, and paper and cleaning products. New Opportunities also was able to connect her with the WIC program and help her with utility assistance. Claudia was also guided to the Department of Human Services, Dallas County General Relief, and the Ministerial Association for other needs.  


Beside herself with emotion, Claudia cried when she heard about all the items that were provided for her family. She had no idea and could barely believe that with coming to a new area, a community could be so warm and welcoming during her time of need. 


This success story demonstrates the impact that New Opportunities Dallas County Family Development Center has in meeting a family’s immediate and emergency needs.


Anonymous, Financial Literacy Counseling
New Opportunities

Emily (not her real name) is a 28 year old Hispanic female with a 3 year old son. When I first met Emily she was living in an apartment in West Des Moines with her son after fleeing from an abusive relationship. The abuse was physical as well as emotional.   Emily had never before managed money. She had no knowledge of how to develop a budget. Her husband had managed the entire bill paying and writing of checks. She was working part time earning about $7.75 per hour.

Emily began looking for full time employment. As well as trying to manage the household finances, and everyday living, she was trying to gain her citizenship and pay for a divorce lawyer.   Emily had never paid a utility bill, written a check, balanced a checkbook or knew how to develop a workable budget.  

Emily began filling out applications and was able to secure full time employment. She was paid bi-weekly. We began by working on finding suitable childcare. Emily and I began by figuring out what bills need to be paid with each of her paychecks. She would track them on her calendar, as well as her paydays.   As she was paid we entered her deposits in her checkbook and subtracted the bills that were due. She went to the bank and ordered duplicate checks so she would be sure not to miss a check in her check register. I also told her that she would need to also set some money aside from each paycheck for her attorney fees. Emily started a savings account and would put money away each time she was paid.

When Emily received her bank statement I worked with her on reconciliation of the bank statement and making sure she was accountable for getting her monthly bills paid. Things were not always easy. She would tell me how hard it was to keep track of everything and how much time it took. I assured her that the longer she worked at it the easier it would become. 

Emily began working some overtime and she thought that even though her finances were very tight she would try and save all of the overtime and put it into her saving account for her attorney fees. 

We worked on basic record keeping for her expenses, and what important documents to keep (birth certificates, tax returns, immunization records.) and the importance of paying bills on time to ensure she would develop a good credit history.            

After several months Emily figured out that she had saved enough money to pay for her divorce attorney. Soon after that, her divorce became final. She is now saving her money to pay for her US citizenship. 

I feel that Emily is truly a success story. She understands the importance of hard work, paying bills and trying to save.

By Carol Bayer, Financial Literacy Counselor

Anonymous, Health Services WIC
New Opportunities, Inc.

I would like to apologize for missing my WIC appointment last week; I completely forgot the day of the appt. I also apologize for being so tardy in responding back to your phone call; that is inexcusable. In working with our doctor, we have been in the process of deciding the next step for our youngest (our daughter who was on formula). As she nears one year of age, we have, with the doctor's supervision, switched her over to milk and she is doing wonderful. The formula she was on was very expensive, which is why we contacted WIC. She is no longer on Nutramigen so we will not need these services any longer. We are so incredibly grateful for the help WIC gave us in the past year, helping us provide the best for her with the unexpected addition of these formula costs. Thank you and bless you for what you do!

-Family of 3


Anonymous, Sac County Head Start
New Opportunities, Inc.

When asked about a success story, one particular family, whom I worked with all last year, came to mind.

He is a single father of two small children. He was in the service, and had been stationed in Iraq. Upon returning to the United States, to re-unite with his children, he found himself in a huge crisis with his children and their mother. The children's mother and gotten into trouble and was put in jail, while the children were placed in relative care, by DHS. Due to all the stress of being away from home, coming back to NOJOB, NO HOUSE, and fighting for his kids, he turned to alcohol for comfort. Within a very short time, he was suffering from alcoholism, as well as Port Traumatic Stress Disorder. Realizing that he needed help and that his children needed HIM, he began treatment in Fort Dodge. It was around this time, the Head Start Family Advocate met him. He and his children were living with extended family. He was not working, and was contemplating about going back to college. He was extremely overwhelmed with all that had been put on his plate, since his return from Iraq. I could tell by visiting with him, that although his family was there to help and support him, he was still in need of more. He needed some "direction". We had some great, deep conversations about his goals for himself and for his children. We started writing down his strengths, things he enjoys, things the children enjoy, and really focused on "attainable' goals. One of his biggest priorities was to find employment and to get himself and his children into a house of their own. The next few months, he enrolled in classes in Ft. Dodge, where he was able to continue his counseling treatments and attend college simultaneously. As the year went on, visit after visit, things seemed to be getting better and better for him. When the school year ended last year, he had moved out of the extended family member's home, and had moved in with his father, which still wasn't exactly where he wanted to be, but he was getting closer. This year, I have the privilege of working with him and his children again, and when I called him to schedule our very first home visit for the year; he EAGERLY gave me his new address: his very OWN address! He was thrilled to tell me that he is officially in his own place with his children, and no longer relying on other family to put a roof over his head. He is continuing with his college education, and looks forward to being even more involved with his children this year. I am looking forward to working with him as he continues his journey.


Anonymous, Health Services WIC Thank You Card
New Opportunities

To all our friends at WIC,

With my son turning 5 in September this may be the last we see you in clinic for a while.

Thank you for all you do – beyond handing out WIC checks, dental and nutrition visits, and well child checks. Those things are all part of your job, but you folks go beyond and add a personal touch of “family”. You have remembered and ask about each of our older children, genuinely care for us, as well as all the families you serve.

Thank you so much for not just coming to work, but making it a joyful place for all who visit you!

-Family of 6


Angela W., Homeless Prevention Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP)
New Opportunities, Inc.

New Opportunities, Inc. is a well rounded organization that truly helps families when they are in need of help due to minor setbacks in life. I just started the program not even two weeks ago and I received help right away from Tonya W., who has been in touch with me each day and has given me updates periodically. Even with the weather conditions, she has been consistent with providing me with program options and feedback on what the program offers. I am truly thankful for New Opportunities, Inc. and I look forward to getting back on my feet with the support provided in helping me to accomplish that. I sincerely hope the company will continue to help people like me who need a helping hand when faced with losing a job, rental help, and encouragement to become self-sufficient again.

Thanks New Opportunities, Inc. and Tonya!

Edna S., Weatherization Dept.
New Opportunities, Inc.

Dear New Opportunities, Inc. and Staff:

I want to thank you for selecting me to receive insulation for my house. It sure did help with the gas bill this winter and I'm sure it will help with the air conditioning this summer too. I'm so very grateful to you all especially to the men who installed the insulation and who inspected it too. They were all very nice!

Thank You!

Janean G., Guthrie County Mentoring
New Opportunities, Inc.

I am writing to express my thoughts regarding the Guthrie County Mentoring Program. When my daughter and I were matched with Brianna (name changed to protect anonymity), a little girl from (name of town deleted to protect anonymity), it was a perfect fit! When we met back in December, we instantly bonded and always looked forward to spending time with each other.

Brianna was always invited to participate in our family activities. During the school year, our time was spent attending (name of school deleted to protect anonymity) school activities such as basketball games, track meets, drill team, and prom events. Some of the other things we did together include going to Perry to swim and eat pizza, prom dress shopping, going to Carroll, going to the state track meet in Des Moines, coming to our house to make cookies and play games, and staying overnight at our house. We also went to watch Brianna play pee-wee basketball.

Brianna had some behavioral issues at school. School personnel, Briann's mother, and I would communicate in an effort to address the problems jointly. Based on everyone working together, Brianna was ultimately able to be more succesful at school.

We were heartbroken when we found out Brianna was moving to Texas. When she and her family left in early June, it was extremely hard to say good-bye. Our greatest hope is that the experiences Brianna had through the mentoring program have made a life-long difference in her life.

Even though it's impossible for us to think of mentoring someone other than Brianna right now, we will continue to be very supportive of the Guthrie County Mentoring Program.

Kevin O., Embrace Iowa 2009
New Opportunities, Inc.

My name is Kevin O. and I am writing this letter to thank your agency for the help I received during my time of need. On August 16, 2009, I was at a lakeside park with my step-son, Dan (14), and son, Tyler (5). Both of the boys were having fun climbing a man-made boulder while I stood on a two-foot ledge watching over my youngest as he made his way up the rock. Suddenly, Tyler lunged himself into my unexpected arms and I held him in my arms as I fell off the ledge. Tyler was unscathed after the incident, I, on the other hand, landed on my left foot in an awkward position. I was taken to the ER in order to have my foot examined. Though the doctor in the emergency room saw no breakage, she recommended I return again to have my family doctor examine my ankle. With the aid of a specialist my doctor was able to detect on breakage. Five more fractures were later detected on my next visit to a bone specialist. The specialist also told me that I was going to be off work for a while; little did I know that " a while" was going to be six months.

Through my employer, I was able to receive thirteen weeks of short-term disability. Being the primary wage earner in my family led to a lot of stress. My short-term checks were very small and made it very difficult for me to maintain my family of five. Bills, fees, and payments accumulated into a staggering pile that threatened to engulf us at times. Our way of viewing expenses changed. Many things that we had previously enjoyed became luxuries and our spending became very limited.

Help eventually came. At a short meeting before my son Tyler's Christmas concert, Jenny Sorensen from New Opportunities, Inc. approached me. She knew about my struggles with income and suggested that I fill out an application that would assist me in paying some of my medical bills. I decided to give it a try and filled out the applications. Jenny later contacted me and informed me that my application had been accepted.

The help that was given to our family was such a blessing to our family. Your willingness to help my family during our time of need has been greatly appreciated. I don't know how to thank you enough.

LoDeene G., I-Smile Program
New Opportunities, Inc.

Thank you again for your gift of many toothbrushes, toothpaste, and posters. It was greatly appreciated. Some students made comments such as: "My mom and I share a toothbrush." "My dog got a hold of my toothbrush and it was gross!" "I haven't had a toothbrush this year."


Melinda S., Embrace Iowa 2009
New Opportunities, Inc.

We are a family of four and we had an old stove that didn't let us cook very good meals because the oven didn't work. Since we've got the new stove, we can have very good meals. Thank you Embrace Iowa!

Shane M., Embrace Iowa 2009
New Opportunities, Inc.

My name is Shane M. I am 31 years-old, divorced father of two children. Three years ago I was left permanently disabled after a motorcycle accident and lost my job. Recently my car broke down and left me without a way to transport my children around. With no job I could not affort to fix it. Thanks to Embrace Iowa I was able to get the repairs done. Now I am able to get them around without finding a ride.

Joni K., Weatherization Program
New Opportunities, Inc.

Everyone who worked here at my home was very nice. They also gave me a feeling that they cared about getting everything done and doing it right. Got the feeling from ALL that they took pride in doing a job well! Thanks to all!!

Lori S., Financial Literacy Program
New Opportunities, Inc.

I would like to thank Carol Bayer for the grant money for summer quarter. It is greatly appreciated. I really wasn't sure how I was going to finish my degree. God Bless You!

Jefferson-Scranton Health Students, Family Planning
New Opportunities, Inc.

Thank you so much to Vickie S.  for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to the Jefferson-Scranton Health Students about STDs. Also thank you for all the goodies! The students always talk for weeks about your presentations! Thank Again!

Trisha M., Child & Adult Care Food Program
New Opportunities, Inc.

Hello! I already sent Melanie a thank you email for the great job she did at her training in Adel, but I really wanted you to know how helpful her training was to me. I think she just did a fabulous job. Her PowerPoint presentation (complete with handouts) was well researched and very informative and relevant to needs facing daycare providers these days. I left there SO motivated to make menu changes, try new recipes, and plan my shopping to save more money ( so I can buy 100% whole grain wheat bread--and make my own chicken nuggets)! I loved the salsa she made for us to sample and especially found the menu plan she wrote up useful. I have been searching for ways to have my kids eat healthier ( and still do it on a budget) and I have been in such a menu rut, serving the same things over and over, that her sample menu is a life-saver. She got me motivated to communicate more with the parents and about the Food Program and the meals we serve. Also, thanks for the cook book!!! The kids and I enjoyed looking through it today and are making our own grocery list to cook some recipes next week!

Anyway, I got more out of Melanie's training then I have from any other in quite a long time. She was well prepared, answered all of our questions, and had so many ideas for us that everyone took at least one great idea home to their daycare.

Thank you for your time!