Supporting Stepping Stones: WESCO Industries Calls On Community For Its ‘Stock The Shelves’ Donation Drive To Help Members In Transitional Living

Denison, IA (March 23, 2021) — Community, assemble! WESCO Industries has created a new initiative called ‘Stock The Shelves’ to ensure that those residing at the Stepping Stones Center (WESCO’s transitional living quarters in Vail, Iowa) have access to essential household items. Many of the transitional living residents come to the Center with only the clothes on their backs. The non-profit community service provider would like to ask the general public for their support by graciously donating items to the WESCO Stepping Stones Center. 

For the ‘Stock The Shelves’ donation drive, WESCO is looking for essential household goods that residents can use in different areas of the Center, such as the kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom. WESCO is looking for items such as clothing, cookware, small appliances, toiletries, etc. People can donate at any time throughout the year. 

Those interested in donating items to the Stepping Stones Center or have questions are encouraged to contact Sara Woerdehoff by emailing or calling 712.263.6141. WESCO asks that donors do not send mattresses, box TVs, large appliances, perishable foods, or opened hygiene products.

“It’s important that those in our Stepping Stones program can develop the skills necessary to attain their highest level of independence and be reintegrated in our communities,’ said Sara Woerdehoff, WESCO Marketing Manager. “Donations of essential household items will be of great help in getting our transitional living residents back out there.” 

The Stepping Stones Transitional Living Center, in partnership with St. Anne’s Catholic Church, is a part of the Rolling Hills Mental Health Region, which serves the counties of Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Sac, and Woodbury. The Center provides short-term housing for persons coming out of placement or hospitalization who need to redevelop skills to be successful in the community with the focus of reintegrating into the community of their choice. 

“We are seeing many individuals who are coming in needing support and wanting to become part of the local communities; a lot of the individuals need basic supplies to assist them in establishing a home,” said Jessica Stangl, Manager of Stepping Stones. “Our goal for the individuals is to lessen the barriers for the individuals when they move out into the community independently by providing them with the basic needs in their newly established home. This winter, with the success of social media, we had a wonderful family from the community donate furnishings to an individual that provided a second chance in a new home.”

Stepping Stones has been a very successful WESCO program, with 78% of individuals successfully transitioned back into the community in 2020. The Stepping Stones’ success has shown that there is a growing need for more transitional living services in western Iowa and throughout the state. WESCO Industries plans to begin renovations for another facility in the future. 

Even through the current pandemic, the community service provider has continued to find ways to support its members through different programs and initiatives. This past Christmas, WESCO organized a ‘Home For the Holidays’ program where people in the community could ‘adopt’ one of WESCO’s 14 residential homes and donate gift items to its residents. It was a huge success that provided well-needed holiday cheer to its residents. 

Woerdehoff continued, “We were deeply moved by the community’s support with the ‘Home For The Holidays’ program. We want to thank everyone that participated! It had such a great, positive impact on our members, and the kind gestures of others made the holidays for our residents something truly special. With the ‘Stock The Shelves’ program, we ask the public—once more—to come together and rally around the idea of making an impact for those with particular needs.”

For more information about WESCO Industries and their Stepping Stones Transitional Living Center, please visit

About WESCO Industries

Established in 1966, WESCO Industries began its journey of providing community services by assisting a handful of individuals in Denison, Iowa. Since its founding, the non-profit company has transformed into one of the leading providers of disability services in Iowa, assisting nearly 150 individuals and employing over 100 dedicated professionals. Driven by the mission of ‘Empowering and Supporting People in Healthy Communities,’ WESCO Industries continues to expand services and programs to attain its goal of changing the lives of others.

Seeing so many individuals succeed in life and being able to transition back into the community is the best part of my job. - WESCO Industries Employee
They can't tell you when you start this job there may come a time where you find you're more comfortable surrounded by people with developmental disabilities than when you are with the general population. But it happens. - WESCO Industries Employee
Until someone has had their own experience with someone with a developmental disability, they just won't understand. - WESCO Industries Employee
I’m so grateful this job became my purpose, my passion & part of my identity. WESCO Industries Employee