Winchester, VA (May 20, 2022) - 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 2022-2023 Community Impact Grant Program.
Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest $540,000 in Impact Grants in thirty-six education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (covering Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page Counties). This amount totals $35,000 more than what was distributed to agencies last year, and is nearly a $100,000 increase over what was distributed to nonprofits in 2020.
“Our team is incredibly proud to be giving out more than half-a-million dollars in local funding.” said Kaycee Childress, President and CEO of United Way NSV. “So many of these grants offer a new, and innovative way to address local problems and tackle issues we have been seeking to address, things like increased youth mental health services and the expansion of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to name a few. We look forward to measuring the direct impact these grant dollars will produce over the years to come and the lives we will impact through these life-changing funds.”
Twenty-seven agencies based in Winchester City, Frederick and Clarke Counties will receive $379,050 in grant funding, while nine agencies based in the Shenandoah and Page Counties will receive $160,950.
In addition, United Way NSV will distribute $147,475 in donor designated funds to various agencies across the service area. Agency designations are 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.
United Way NSV received a total of $758,248 in funding requests from 38 agencies, a $20,000 increase over the year prior. The review process involved 50 community volunteers on eight panels, who reviewed funding applications, participated in online and in-person site visits, and viewed agency presentations. Each panel reviewed 4-5 agencies and recommended grant funding to focus on priority human care needs.
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 to measure the success of these program investments.
“I tell my friends and radio listeners that taking part in Fund Distribution is incredibly rewarding and educational. Through the process, community members learn so much about local needs, what agencies do, and how they can make an impact. Making the choices about who gets how much funding takes a lot of teamwork, time, and investigating. At the end of the day, it is all incredibly rewarding to know that you have made a difference in making our community a better place to live and work.” said Janet Michael, a 2022 Fund Distribution volunteer and United Way NSV Board Member.
United Way NSV welcomes seven new education, financial stability and health Impact Grant partners this year. Those agencies include: Strength in Peers, Collins Center & Child Advocacy Center, Just Neighbors Ministry Inc, Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, Arte Libre VA, and the Shenandoah Arts Council.
United Way NSV’s funding priorities for education programs, focus on children having access to basic needs, early learning programs and youth support programs. A total of $59,850 is being awarded to educational programs.
One of the United Way education grant recipients, Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area was awarded $18,000 to support the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The funding will expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to children in Winchester City so that every child can receive a book a month at no charge from the time they are born to the time they turn five.
“This funding will have a long-lasting impact on our community. It will allow the Campaign for Grade Level reading to work towards improving pre-school readiness, out of school and after school time, and attendance all with a goal to improve literacy in our community,” said Andy Gail, executive director of Literacy Volunteers, Winchester Area, which serves as the backbone agency for the initiative.
Under financial stability grants, United Way NSV will invest $261,400 to support programs where families move from crisis to financial stability, create housing solutions that provide safe, decent and affordable housing options, and programs that help individuals acquire the skills necessary to secure and retain self and/or family-sustaining employment.
Just Neighbors Ministry Inc. will receive $15,000 to provide immigration legal services to immigrants in the community, with a focus on assisting those who are eligible for citizenship or work authorization.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington was awarded $20,000 to support the Emergency Assistance Program that provides rent and utility assistance to households in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries was awarded $7,500 to support their two programs in Shenandoah County. Their children’s program, A Small Hand received funding to provide diapers and wipes to families in need. Their senior assistance program, The Good Shepherd, will provide bags of hygiene, cleaning and paper products to senior citizens who seek help.
In United Way NSV health grants, a total of $218,750 of funding will be invested to support programs that increase access to healthcare, address the negative effects of violence and physical hazards, and demonstrate improved behavioral health by reporting better mental health and a reduction in substance abuse.
Two new partners in United Way NSV’s southern territory will receive grant funding in the health category. Strength in Peers was awarded $10,000 to support the Side-by-Side Recovery Program that provides peer recovery support and case management to adults with substance use and mental health challenges in Shenandoah and Page Counties.
The Collins Center & Child Advocacy Center was awarded $24,750 to provide comprehensive, collaborative, and free trauma-informed Child Advocacy Center services for child victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending caregivers in Page County.
Please see the full list HERE of Impact Grant Awards for 2022. Distribution of 2022-2023-year Impact Grants will begin July 1.