Winchester, VA (May 24, 2021) - 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 2021-2022 Community Impact Grant Program.
Through the Impact Grant Program, United Way will invest $505,047 in 36 education, financial stability and health programs throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Winchester City, Frederick County, Clarke County, Shenandoah County and Page County). This amount is a 10% increase over what was distributed to nonprofits last year.
“Despite the global pandemic, our corporate partners and individual donors continued to give generously. The community stood behind us and made sure our partner agencies have the resources they need to provide critical support for families as they recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic,” said Nadine Bullock-Pottinga, President and CEO of United Way NSV.
Twenty-five agencies based in the northern part of our region will receive $346,422 in grant funding, while 11 agencies based in the southern counties will receive $158,625.
In addition to the impact grants funds, United Way NSV will distribute $173,132 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.
United Way NSV received $735,772 in requests from 39 organizations. The review process involved more than 60 community volunteers on nine panels, who reviewed funding applications, participated in online and in-person site visits, and panel presentations.
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.
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 $16,000. This grant will provide full-day childcare and preschool services for ten low-income three and four yea-old children over the three summer months. Tuition for the ten students has been covered until the summer by Shenandoah County Public Schools’ Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Expansion fund. The funding ends on May 30th when the school year ends. The United Way grant will fill the gaps this summer to ensure the children continue to improve their school readiness skills until they enter kindergarten this fall. The tuition assistance also allows their parents to maintain employment by having consistent quality full-day childcare during the summer. 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 funded by United Way address other priority needs such as children having access to basic needs and students having access to high quality, enriching out of school programs. Investments include supporting the expansion of school-based mentoring programs in Shenandoah County through a $12,500 grant for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, and a $14,267 grant to Museum of the Shenandoah Valley grant to provide scholarships for low-income children to participate in summer camps.
Under Financial Stability, United Way NSV is investing in a $10,000 grant that will provide food and hygiene items to support Highland Food Pantry’s Special Delivery Project. The Winchester-based nonprofit helps reduce food insecurity by providing bags of nutritious food to seniors and disabled individuals who are homebound. This program aligns with one of United Way’s priority needs to ensure basic needs are met for our community’s most vulnerable neighbors and ensuring availability and access to healthy food and personal care items.
In Financial Stability Impact Grants, United Way will invest a total of $174,705 to support programs where families become self-sufficient and move from crisis to financial stability, and programs that help individuals acquire the skills necessary to secure and retain self and/or family-sustaining employment.
Several nonprofits received grants to help families weather the economic storm caused by COVID-19, including housing insecurity, a need that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Those investments include:
• $10,000 to Blue Ridge Housing Network to provide rent, mortgage, security deposits and utility assistance.
• $20,000 to Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP) to provide motel assistance to local families who have been evicted and are looking for long-term housing solutions.
• $12,000 to Faithworks to support the Pay it Forward program that addresses unmet needs like car repairs, phone bills, relocation expenses, and other needs not covered by other programs.
• $11,765 to Blue Ridge Legal Services to provide free legal assistance to low income and ALICE families, many of whom are facing eviction.
• $15,000 to Family Promise of Shenandoah County to assist families who are homeless as they work toward stability, including providing transportation, childcare, and other supportive services.
• $12,000 to Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) Education Foundation to support the Helping Hand Emergency Scholarship Fund that helps LFCC students address immediate needs that may prevent them from fulfilling educational and workforce training obligations.
• $8,000 to Choices of Page County, Inc. to support domestic and sexual violence victims and their families remove gaps and barriers to regaining employment, and ensuring their basic needs are met.
In Health Grants, United Way is investing $22,000 in the Shenandoah County Dental Clinic and $48,360 in the Shenandoah County Free Clinic, which although are separate nonprofits, operate with the same director and in a joint facility. The Dental Clinic grant will help provide 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), as well as programs where children and youth have access to emergency and ongoing mental health and counseling services.
Additionally, the ChildSafe Center- CAC received a $30,000 grant to conduct evaluations for abuse, conduct risk assessments (ACE’s), and trauma screenings, as well as mental health treatment services to child abuse victims and their non-offending caretakers at their offices in Winchester and Shenandoah County. This program aligns with United Way’s funding priority to support programs that provide trauma informed care and ensure households have access to the necessary supports to address the negative effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Additional Health Grants given by United Way NSV, totaling $235,625 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 below full list of Impact Grant Awards for 2021. Distribution of 2021-2022-year Impact Grant will begin July 1: