Who’s Helping

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Children & Families of Iowa is dedicated to improving the communities its serve. For more almost 130  years, CFI has found that the thoughtful, committed citizens of those communities are just as committed. CFI is grateful for those who are doing their part to change the world by giving to the programs of Children & Families of Iowa. Gifts of all sizes can make a difference. Some people give because they want to “pay it forward.” Others are inspired by CFI’s compelling stories of hope. Still others simply want to donate to an organization they believe in.

Whatever the reason for giving, donors are helping CFI restore hope, build futures and change lives. Never doubt the impact of a gift and its ability to change a life.

Spotlight on Giving

The following donor has distinguished themselves by making a difference to Children & Families of Iowa in a unique and lasting manner.

Principal Financial Group Foundation

A generous grant from Principal Financial Group in the amount of $20,000 is being used to help support CFI services that focus on assisting young adults in identifying a career pathway based on their individual skills, interests, abilities and current labor market trends.

CFI’s program provides young adults with skills necessary to lead both a successful financial future and an overall self-sufficient life. CFI approaches financial literacy holistically by providing young adults with positive financial behaviors and money management skills, but also by helping them overcome barriers such as addiction, mental illness, access to quality child care so that they can complete high school, and preparation for post-secondary education to attain employment. Only by overcoming these barriers can young adults establish a solid foundation on which to have a successful future.

“Gaining financial strategy and direction is vitally important for young adults as they plan their futures, and CFI’s programs makes it a primary goal,” said Amy Stapp-Arpy, CDO/VP of Development and Communication at CFI. “The generous support from the Principal Foundation enables CFI to help Iowa’s youth overcome their past challenges and live more productive lives.”

“Principal Foundation empowers people to live their best lives by investing in building strong communities around the world, including our headquarter city, Des Moines,” says Mandi McReynolds, Director of Community Relations and Principal Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Children & Families of Iowa helping youth reach financial security through learning, earning and saving more.”


Bella K Photography

CFI extends a special thank you to Kristi and Clint Stephens, owners of Bella K Photography in Waukee, for their generous support of CFI.
For the last five years, the Stephens have provided extraordinary event photography at CFI’s Tango Gala, even giving up a part of Kristie’s birthday last year. “I ended the day at Children & Families of Iowa’s Tango Gala! I joked, it was so nice of them to throw me such a fancy party! But in all seriousness, CFI is my charity of choice they do so many great things for the community!” said Kristi.

For over seven years the couple has provided the portrait photography at CFI’s Princess Party. Bella K Photography has been involved with CFI’s Kidsfest, presented by Veridian Credit Union, for the last 15 years, and helped with several other annual events.
Bella K has been a wonderful and very generous partner to CFI.


Mary Mantz

In 2005, Mary Mantz of San Francisco discovered Children & Families of Iowa through a Wells Fargo outreach program. After learning about CFI’s mission and services, Mary made an initial gift – and many more throughout the years. Mary ultimately wanted to help at-risk children overcome their circumstances and enjoy better lives.

Sadly, last summer Mary passed away following a courageous battle with cancer. However, Mary had generously included CFI in her trust as one of three organizations to benefit from her estate.

CFI extends an extra measure of gratitude and appreciation to Mary, a very compassionate woman who did remarkable things for others. Additional appreciation is due to Mary’s family, especially her sister, Andrea Utiley, for sharing Mary’s story with CFI.