Women United

Creating a new reality for Quad Cities kids.

Since 2011, nearly 200 Women United investors have raised and invested nearly $5.5 million in research-based strategies to support quality child care and early learning experiences for our youngest Quad Citizens. They have invested in quality child care opportunities for families, and education and retention of child care providers in the Quad Cities.

Women United invests in kindergarten readiness.

Our vision is that every child enters kindergarten ready to thrive and on the path to read by 3rd grade.

Together, we provide:

  • Greater access to quality child care for at-risk children.
  • Born Learning Academies that coach parents and caregivers on how they can best support their child’s early development and learning.
  • Opportunities to develop reading, social and problem-solving skills.
  • Quality improvements for preschool and early education programs.
  • Professional development for care providers.

Your support today can make a lifetime of difference.

When you join Women United, you support top-notch early learning programs and activities. Your donations ensure that children have safe, enriching learning environments and receive services that improve their health, well-being and development.

Born Learning volunteer reading to a student

The importance of early learning in school.



of Quad Cities students are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, a key factor in determining if they will graduate. Quad Cities Education Data Exchange, 2021


Children from families with low income are almost 2X as likely to fall and stay behind in school as children from families with more income.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading



kids in the Quad Cities start kindergarten without the skills needed to succeed.

Quad Cities Education Data Exchange, 2021

Women United Investments

We empower parents to support their child’s development and prepare them for kindergarten. Together with volunteers, teachers and donors, we invest in and build initiatives that make a positive difference for Quad Cities kids, such as Born Learning Academies and related programming.
Smiling preschooler holding a marker.
Woman in a pink top smiling for a picture

Who we are.

I am very passionate about empowering parents and ensuring every child has the opportunity for early childhood development, to enter kindergarten healthy and ready to learn and to build reading skills. These are the core investment strategies of Women United and I am pleased to be a contributor.

—Amy Crist, Women United Charter Member & Co-Chair
Women United Founding Members

Women United invites you to join a group of caring women dedicated to improving the lives of our youngest Quad Citizens.

The Founding Members of Women United (in bold) are a group of dynamic women who were the trailblazers behind this movement to improve the lives and circumstances of children in the Quad Cities.

This entire list of women, from all over our region, banded together around a shared belief that all children deserve quality child care and early learning opportunities. They dedicated themselves to raising revenue, awareness and public support for the following ambitious first projects: construction of a state-of-the-art YMCA Early Learning Center in downtown Davenport and capacity building for early learning centers to increase quality. This investment also included teacher training and center improvements. We will forever be grateful to these visionaries for their leadership!

The following Women United investors have made the commitment of $2,500 or more to this initiative.

  • Naurin Ahmad, M.D.
  • Samia Ahmad
  • Sam & Marsha Allen
  • Debbie Anselm
  • Dr. Paula M. Arnell
  • Bev Askeland
  • Nancy A. Ballenger
  • Tara Barney
  • Rosie Barton
  • Rita Bawden
  • Kim Beardsley
  • Stefanie Beason
  • Kim Benson
  • Ellie Betzle
  • Dr. Susan Bird
  • Susan Blaskovich
  • Emily Blaylock
  • Phyllis Bleymeyer
  • Linda V. Bowers
  • Michelle Breneman
  • Sarah Budan
  • Denise Bulat
  • Debi Butler
  • Cindy Carlson
  • Molly Carroll
  • Mary Ellen Chamberlin
  • Meghan Cooley
  • Adrian Crawford
  • Amy Crist
  • Lynne Cropper
  • Peggy Cullen
  • Mike & Myra Daniel
  • Marci R. Dinneweth
  • Mara Downing
  • Marilyn Dumolien
  • Lynne Dvorak
  • Carol Earnhardt
  • Trish Eikenberry
  • Kristin Esche
  • Caroline Everitt
  • Marie Feehan
  • Reggie Goldstein
  • Jayne Field
  • Kimberly Findlay-Brackey
  • Darby Finnegan
  • Molly Foley
  • Kim Fox
  • Karrie Fuhr
  • Astrid Garcia
  • Edna Denise Garrett
  • Rene Gellerman
  • Laura Genis
  • Peggy Germain
  • Hannah Gorsline
  • Monique Gorsline
  • Vicki Graves
  • Rebecca Guinn
  • Leslee Hager
  • Jenny Hamilton
  • Mary Haney
  • Diane Harris
  • Michelle Horaney
  • Valerie J. Horvat
  • Marc & Gma Howze
  • Rosemary Huisingh
  • Heidi Huiskamp Collins
  • Jen Hunt
  • Anita Horne Jenkins
  • Sarah Johnson
  • Marika Jones
  • Mary K.W. Jones
  • Mary Junck
  • Terri Kabat
  • Subha Kalathur
  • Terre Klipsch
  • Judy Kreiter
  • Nataliya Kukhar
  • Dr. Joan Kuraitis
  • Joan Lescinski, C.S.J., PhD
  • Carol Lewis
  • Kathleen Logan
  • Dr. Cynthia Long
  • Denise Mack
  • Cheri May
  • Amy McClure Swearingen
  • Lisa J. McCraw
  • Delia Moon Meier
  • Marcy Mendenhall
  • Kathi Morency
  • Linda Neuman
  • Linda Newborn
  • Amy Nimmer
  • Carrie O’Neill
  • Margaret Ortiz
  • Dr. Rafat F. Padaria
  • Susan M. Parker
  • Heidi Parkhurst
  • Priscilla Parkhurst
  • Holly Parsons
  • Jenny Parvin
  • Melissa Pepper
  • Teresa Perkins
  • Jennifer L. Preston
  • Raelene Pullen
  • Diane Puthoff
  • Susan Quail
  • Luann Rickert
  • Sherry Ristau
  • Sierra Roberts
  • Charlene Ruccolo
  • Caroline Ruhl
  • Caitlin Russell
  • Debbie Schwiebert
  • Nancy J. Seidler
  • Debra Sergesketter
  • Emily Shenk-DeMay
  • Kay Sigardson-Poor
  • Rebecca Signer
  • Armeet Singh
  • Amanda Slavens
  • Pamela Snyder
  • Megan Stopulos
  • Shawn Stuenkel
  • Lori Syverud
  • Linda Tank
  • Terri Tank
  • Ashley Tennant
  • Deann R. Thoms
  • Cynthia Tidwell
  • Elizabeth Tinsman
  • Maggie Tinsman
  • Liz Treiber
  • Mike & Carrie Trenkamp
  • Dottie Tubbs
  • Leanne Tyler
  • Fonda Van Nattan
  • Melissa von Maur
  • Sue von Maur
  • Janice Vrablec
  • Laurel Walker
  • Jean Wardlow
  • Ranae Warren
  • Faye Waterman
  • Maria Waterman
  • Jill Lain Weaver
  • Kathy Weigle
  • Barbara Westerdale
  • Kim Whalen
  • Cathie S. Whiteside
  • Dana Wilkinson
  • Tammy Williams
  • Dawna Wisdom
  • Mellissa Wood
  • Michelle Y. Yates, M.D.
  • Jill Young
  • Marie Z. Ziegler
  • 4 Anonymous, 3 Deceased
  • 14 Anonymous
Get in touch!

To learn more or partner with Women United, email Michele Darland at mdarland@unitedwayqc.org or call 563.344.0320.

Donor Network Updates

Women United is proud to announce awards of $200,000 in grants to support underserved families in the region. These investments are strategically designed to bolster access…
A local philanthropist has issued a $100,000 challenge to our community, to help ensure more Quad Cities kids enter kindergarten with the skills they need to…
Just this spring, Women United teamed up with media and community partners to shine a spotlight on the creative minds who are pioneering new ideas to…

You can also sign up for our Women United newsletter for the latest up-to-date information!

0 %
of Quad City students are
Reading proficiently
by the end of third grade, a key factor in
determining if they will graduate.
—Quad Cities Education Data Exchange, 2021
0 X
Children from families
with low income are almost
As likely to fall and
stay behind in school
as children from families with more income.
—The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
kids in the Quad Cities start kindergarten
Without the skills
needed to succeed.
—Quad Cities Education Data Exchange, 2021