Volunteers Tell Their Stories

When you are a mother you quickly learn, especially after the second one, that children are individuals. You give them your genes, but that is a coin toss— they can get your worst traits as well as your best. There are really only 2 things a mother can give her children. The first is unconditional love and support, the knowledge that there is always someone they can trust through good times and bad. That doesn’t mean letting them do whatever they want; it means guiding, teaching, offering a role model, but it is all built on love and trust. The second thing a mother can give is opportunities. My sons had many opportunities and so did I —sitting through freezing cold, wet mornings at soccer games; searing hot summer afternoon at the tennis courts; long, screechy violin lessons, trumpet lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons; I cleaned up Kinnick parking lots after games and gave up weekends to wash cars to raise money for school activities. I took my boys to concerts and to the theater. I involved them in community events that I was involved in and encouraged them to “give back.” We had a great time together, and even though they are both far away and busy with their lives, they still call nearly everyday just to check in and tell me what they are up to.

While my boys were still in high school, I discovered United Action for Youth. From my years on PTA boards, I knew that not all children grew up with those advantages my sons had—unconditional love and support (UAY calls it Unconditional Positive Regard) and opportunities to expand their world. I joined the UAY board because I saw it as a place where every young person who walks through the door can find opportunities that they might not have otherwise—to play guitar or drums, to draw and paint, maybe have their own solo show, to “give back” through volunteer work, to write a poem, to share a story, to create and to communicate.

More than that, UAY provides adults who really understand young people and who know how to reach the ones who need someone to trust. UAY can help bring broken families together, and to help a young “too soon” mother give her baby the best start possible.

Love, support and opportunities—that is what my family gave me, that is what I gave my sons, and through my support of UAY, I hope that generations of young people will also have those things.

Cathy Weingeist, Iowa City
Former board member and
current UAY volunteer

Cathy Weingeist, UAY Volunteer

Cathy Weingeist, Iowa City
Former board member and
current UAY Volunteer

United Action for Youth
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 892
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
Fax: 319-337-7999

Main Office and 24 Hour Crisis Line
1700 S First Ave Suite 14

Youth Center
355 Iowa Avenue