Celebrating Our 2022 ChildServe Champions

Each year, ChildServe recognizes its most devoted supporters for advancing its mission through generosity, service and inspiring others to action. The ChildServe Champions award is designated in two categories, one for corporations, foundations and organizations and the other for individuals or families. This year both United Way of Central Iowa and Connie French were named recipients of the ChildServe Champions award, respectively.

“As a non-profit organization, so much of what we are able to provide for children with special healthcare needs and their families is made possible by philanthropy,” said Dr. Teri Wahlig, ChildServe CEO. “That’s why, it’s important for us to recognize the individuals and organizations who give so generously of themselves, their time, talents and resources, to support specialty pediatric healthcare in Iowa.”

United Way of Central Iowa 

United Way of Central Iowa has supported the mission of ChildServe in Polk and Warren Counties by making community investments in therapy and adaptive equipment services since 1989. To date, United Way of Central Iowa’s investment cabinets and donors have contributed over $5 million to ChildServe, making the organization ChildServe’s second largest donor.

“Funds raised by United Way of Central Iowa are invested in programs and initiatives to address challenges people face right here in Central Iowa,” said Mary Sellers, United Way of Central Iowa President. “We bring together donors, volunteers, advocates and nonprofit organizations to help our local communities thrive. We are proud to support ChildServe, an organization focused on transforming pediatric healthcare for children and families in Iowa for nearly 95 years.”

Connie French 

Connie and her late husband, Rod, have given generously to ChildServe since 2003. With over $1.6 million in cumulative giving, their generosity has helped thousands of children with special healthcare needs and their families live a great life. Highlights of giving include a $1 million lead gift to ChildServe’s Forward Together Ames Campaign as well as a $500,000 major gift to ChildServe’s Forward Together Campaign to create the Variety Behavioral Health Clinic and Jojo’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit in Johnston.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by ChildServe as a champion for children with special healthcare needs and their families,” French said. “Our family, like so many Iowa families, recognizes the importance of having specialty pediatric healthcare services available locally. It is my privilege to play a role in ensuring these quality programs and services are available for years to come.”


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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