United Way NSV Announces Impact Grant Programs Investments
Winchester, VA (May 20, 2020) - United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) reaffirmed its commitment to lift families and individuals to financial stability and create a healthier community when its board of directors approved funding recommendations made by community volunteers for the 2020-2021 Community Impact Grant Program. Despite the global pandemic, United Way NSV was determined to continue to provide grants to area non-profit agencies who will need these grants now more than ever.
Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest in 34 education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester City, Frederick County, Clarke County, Shenandoah County and Page County). In addition to the impact grants funds, United Way NSV will distribute more than $100,000 in donor designated funds to various agencies, with these funds distributed separately from the grant program. Funding for the Impact Grant program is specifically earmarked by donors, and is only a portion of the total money raised and given out by United Way NSV.
$780,408.80 was requested for program grants from 36 organizations in Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Page, and Shenandoah Counties. The review process involved 53 diverse community volunteers on nine panels, who reviewed funding applications, participated in online panel presentations via Zoom and recommended grant funding to focus on priority human care needs. Volunteers read proposals, analyzed financial statements, and deliberated for about a dozen hours before coming to a group consensus. “It was important to us to find a way to continue this process despite the pandemic. We know that the future is very uncertain for many. Our local non-profits will play a critical role in helping our community recover from the economic fall out of this pandemic. In addition to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, these funds will be disbursed to help to continue to provide key critical programs for our community.” said United Way President and CEO, Nadine Bullock-Pottinga
The Fund Distribution Committee, which is made up of volunteers from area businesses, schools and community representatives focused on high need areas as identified in the United Way Needs Assessment and Virginia ALICE® Report in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Outcome reports will be submitted to United Way quarterly. “Through the extensive grant vetting process, we hope to address the most pressing needs in our community that have been identified through our needs assessment, in the most efficient and effective way possible” said Kurt Beyreis, Chair of the Fund Distribution Committee.
In the area of education, one of the United Way grant recipients, The Community Care and Learning Center (CCLC), will receive a grant investment of $10,855. This grant will establish an infant room at the center. CCLC is located in an identified “childcare desert” between Page and Shenandoah Counties, and aims to help families overcome a primary barrier to employment, prepare preschool children for school, provide nurturing infant/toddler care and enriching summer/afterschool care, and address basic food insecurity. This investment aligns within United Way NSV’s community needs strategy to make sure that preschool aged children have access to affordable, high quality, early learning programs that prepare them for kindergarten.
Additional education programs granted funding by United Way, address other priority needs such as children having access to basic needs; students having access to high quality, enriching out of school programs where students have support and encouragement for educational success from engaged parents/advocates and mentors; as well as junior high and high school students having access to age-appropriate college and career preparation in order to graduate equipped with skills for success.
In Financial Stability Grants, United Way is investing in grants that support the critical home repair program with Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity in Winchester, Frederick, Clarke and Shenandoah counties, with a focus this year on repairs in the more rural areas of Frederick, Clarke and Shenandoah where the average age of homes is around 50 years old. The program is open to homeowners living at or below 60% area median income, with priority towards aging adults who have mobility and accessibility issues, to help keep homeowners in their homes. This program for United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley aligns with community priority needs, specifically to help people in crisis meet their basic needs and become self-sufficient.
Another nonprofit receiving grant funding in the area of Financial Stability is the Clarke County nonprofit, A Farm Less Ordinary. $28,000 will be given to fund the delivery and distribution of more than 2,000 lbs. of fresh, organically grown produce to families in need in Clarke County, as well as to provide employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities as growers on the farm. This grant helps people meet their basic needs as well as works to employ those who may otherwise be unable to secure employment.
In Financial Stability Impact Grants, United Way will make investments to support programs where families become self-sufficient and move from crisis to financial stability, low or no income individuals can acquire the skills necessary to secure and retain self and/or family-sustaining employment, as well as programs where vulnerable seniors are able to access services that improve their quality of life and maintain independence.
In Health Grants, United Way is investing $20,000 in the Shenandoah County Dental Clinic and $42,000 in the Shenandoah County Free Clinic, which although are separate nonprofits, operate with the same director and in a joint facility. The joint amount of $62,000 is the largest grant given by United Way NSV for the 2020 grant cycle. The Dental Clinic grant will go towards providing dental care to uninsured children and adults with incomes below the ALICE threshold. The Free Clinic grant will provide 40 hours per week of counseling services for students in Shenandoah County Schools by a professional counselor. This program will address priority needs within our community, specifically addressing families and individuals being able to access quality and affordable health care (which includes: physical, dental, mental health, and wellness), programs where children and youth have access to emergency and ongoing mental health and counseling services.
A first-time grant was also given to Blue Ridge Hospice, for $15,000 to supplement the continuation and further development of the Grief and Loss Support Services Program which provides grief counseling, support groups, educational workshops, children’s grief programs, telephone outreach, and resource materials, while developing new programs designed to support those who have experienced a loss in hospice care, as well as anyone in our community affected by death, dying and grief.
Additional Health Grants given by United Way NSV align within the other identified priority needs to support programs preventing domestic and sexual abuse as well as programs that aggressively address the substance abuse crisis in our community.
Please see the link here for a full list of Impact Grant Awards for 2020: https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/2020-2021-impact-grant-recipients
Distribution of 2020-2021-year Impact Grant will begin July 1.