Faith in Action Nominees 2023-24

Al Éxito

Champion: Dave Witke, Gene McCracken

Al Éxito serves 6th grade – college-aged youth in over 18 communities across Iowa. Facilitators are contracted, trained, and paid to run the programs at each site. Parent programs, entitled Padres Unidos, were developed to better inform and equip Spanish-speaking partners to help their students succeed in school. Al Éxito advances the success of Latinx youth through programs that focus on college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support, and celebration of culture. By gaining knowledge, skills, opportunities, and support, our young leaders achieve higher education and career goals, engage in leadership and civic activities that build equitable Latinx representation in our communities and nurture well-being through cultural identity development. First Unitarian Church has had been active in supporting Al Exito in the past and would like to support them again this year.

Clive Community Services

Champion: Jack Hacket

Clive Community Services (CCS) offers a Food Pantry, a Clothing Closet, a Free Medical Clinic and Educational Services.  We began operation in 2016 through the leadership of local citizens who were concerned about the growing level of need in the neighborhood near Crestview School of Inquiry.   Our offices are located within walking distance of many apartments and the Crestview School of Inquiry which provides convenience and familiarity to those seeking services.  In addition to serving immigrant populations, it should be noted that CCS maintains a commitment to all low-income families in the area who are seeking food, other support services, and stability in their lives.  Besides a paid director, we are entirely volunteer-run.  Volunteer opportunities of all types are available. Donations of all kinds accepted.

Family Promise

Champion: Elaine Imlau

Family Promise of Greater Des Moines strives to create a safe, stable and nurturing environment for the children as well as to support the efforts of their parents in securing employment and housing. We partner with 14 host congregations, volunteers and donors to help homeless families with children find steady income and stable housing. At First Unitarian, as a host congregation, we flip classrooms into bedrooms and offer overnight shelter, evening meals and transportation for up to 3 families for one week every season.


Champion: Mike Smith

The FreeStore is an all-volunteer organization supporting children and families who have escaped domestic violence and those suffering from other forms of trauma including natural disasters and criminal assault. We provide donated furniture and household goods as these families begin new lives in a safe environment. FreeStore volunteers collect gently used furniture and furnishings from homes in the Des Moines metro area. We collaborate with other non-profits and social-service agencies. Their advocates make appointments for their clients to select furniture and furnishings from our warehouse and we deliver it to their new home.

Iowa Trans Mutual Aid Fund

Champion: Doug Aupperle

The Iowa Trans Mutual Aid Fund’s goal is to provide financial assistance to transgender, non-binary and other gender diverse individuals in the state of Iowa to assist in accessing gender-affirming healthcare. This includes trans minors and their families now forced to seek gender-affirming healthcare out of state due to recent changes in Iowa law.

Just Voices

Champion: Harvey Harrison

Just Voices mission is to work to build a platform that educates, advocates, and collaborates to end racially biased policing in Iowa. Just Voices envisions a society free from racial oppression. It is the hope that a partnership with First UU will continue the growth and impact of our programs. That this partnership will offer opportunities for education in our congregation, communicate our values to the greater community and create a forum for face-to-face engagement. We will also seek to reach out to other local churches in an effort to broaden the base for our work.