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United Way offers $120,000 in grants

United Way offers $120,000 in grants

February 25th, 2018 by Joe Gamm in Local News

The United Way of Central Missouri is offering up to $120,000 for 2018 Community Support Grants.

The one-time grants will be available for area health and human service agencies, effective immediately.

They are open to any nonprofit agency in the service area furthering the mission of the United Way to help people in need and provide community solutions, addressing needs in area of food, shelter, education, employment, health or transportation.

Grants must have measurable program outcomes and serve communities in all or parts of Cole, Moniteau, Osage, Miller, Morgan, Camden and southern Callaway counties.

Applying agencies must have been in operation for at least two years.

The United Way campaign surpassing its goal for 2017 played a role in the organization, offering the grants in addition to their annual funding support for 28 partner agencies in the coming year, according to a United Way of Central Missouri news release.

Money raised in 2016 allowed the organization to provide $80,000 in grants in 2017. The organization has offered the grants in addition to supporting United Way partners annually for 12 years, said Ann Bax, president of United Way of Central Missouri.

The agency had been able to offer the grants sporadically previous to the 12-year run, Bax said.

One other year, Bax said, the organization was able to offer $120,000 in grants. One year it offered approximately $125,000, she remembered.

"This is the results of the great success of our 2017 campaign," Bax said.

The organization was able to hit an "unspoken" $2 million milestone. Publicly, the goal was $1.875 million.

"We had great leadership," she said. "We just felt the momentum building."

Last year's grants went to 16 recipients, Bax said. Six are United Way partners. The other nine reflected opportunities to improve communities, she said.

The United Way gave $2,500 to the Osage County Anti-Drug Community Action Team in 2017. It was the second consecutive year giving the organization a grant. In 2016, it gave the team $8,500 as it got underway with the help of the Council for Drug Free Youth. Bax said a group of "community-minded people" requested the grant after determining they needed help fighting a local drug problem.

Also in 2017, the United Way gave a grant to UPC Heartland-Gibbs Center for Independence, which serves adults with disabilities. The center needed equipment to help serve its clients, Bax said.

Another recipient last year was Healing House in Jefferson City, which needed an outbuilding for storage and an office. The organization serves women being released from incarceration. Moving storage and offices out of the house opened room for two more clients.

United Way couldn't do it all without community support, Bax said.

"The community is embracing the work and engaging in the work," she said, "and saying, 'We're behind you and willing to fight for the basic needs of every person in the community.'"

To apply for a Community Support Grant, qualified organizations should visit unitedwaycemo.org. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. March 29.