$1.8 Million Invested in Human Service Programs on the Lakeshore
BY CHRISTINE ROBERE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED WAY OF THE LAKESHORE
Find out how to be a handraiser and a changemaker!
United Way of the Lakeshore’s Board of Directors awarded $1,841,511 to non-profit programs in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties aimed at helping working families meet their basic needs by 2025.
“Thanks to the generosity of thousands of area residents and companies, and time spent by dozens of dedicated volunteers, United Way of the Lakeshore is pleased to provide needed funding to area health and human service organizations who improve the quality of life for so many in need,” shared Erin Kuhn, Impact Council Chair and Executive Director of West Michigan Regional Development Commission. “We all know the needs are great in our communities. We are fortunate to have so many able partners to assist our friends and neighbors during these tough times.” Kuhn said.
The funded programs focus on building thriving communities through health, education and financial stability and target the following community level goals:
1. Building a skilled and educated workforce through school readiness, math and reading proficiency, on-time graduation, and career awareness/life success;
2. Financial stability and independence through stable employment to living wages, building savings through budgeting, housing stability, and manageable expenses;
3. Healthy and safe individuals and families including a healthy start for children, access to health care and counseling, safe and caring homes and community, good nutrition and active lifestyles.
In Muskegon County, $906,629 was awarded to 36 programs from 28 agencies. In Oceana County, $55,460 in funding was awarded for 13 agency programs. In Newaygo County, 19 programs received a total of $85,976.
Along with these awards, $253,401 in COVID Relief funding has gone out to support 48 programs through the pandemic with emergent needs like, food, shelter, child care, and personal protective equipment. $310,045 was directly designated by donors to specific non-profit agencies and another $230,000 was approved to support youth employment programs.
A total of $1.8 million invested in direct assistance in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties. In addition, United Way of the Lakeshore provided programs and support in the areas of volunteerism, community collaboration, education and training.
Be A Handraiser: Our Community Investment Volunteer Panels
Did you know that the programs funded by United Way of the Lakeshore are decided by dozens of volunteers in the community? The UWL community investment process focuses resources and relies on local expertise of volunteers to provide solutions to critical education, income, and health issues facing people in the Lakeshore area. Community Investment volunteers determine where the funds raised in the United Way’s annual campaign are invested. They review program applications, tour agency sites, and meet to discuss the program’s effectiveness.
United Way’s fund distribution process began in March, with 78 volunteers learning about community needs in the areas of education, income and health through the review of funding proposals and agency presentations held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Volunteers then made recommendations on funding the United Way Impact Strategy Team in each county, who made final recommendations to the United Way board of directors.
Be a Changemaker: Help with the United Way Annual Campaign
Currently, nearly half of the households in our community struggle to get by, just one unexpected expense away from crisis. That is why investing in programs that improve the education, income, and health of our community is so detrimental. We can’t do it alone. We need you.
Last year, our donors helped us support over 85,000 individuals in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana counties. Your gift, whether it is $1/week or $100/week becomes part of a much larger impact when pooled with the gifts of thousands of others. Many programs require the donor support that the United Way provides in order to bring additional government funding to our community, and all dollars stay locally in the community you live (unless you choose otherwise).
This is your invitation to LIVE UNITED. Be part of improving the education, health, and financial stability of people in your community. Because united we stand. United we elevate. United, we can change what we see in the world around us. Please give here.
United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at (231) 722-3134. Learn more about United Way of the Lakeshore at UnitedWayLakeshore.org, like the organization on Facebook and receive up to date information from Twitter at twitter.com/uwlakeshore.