United Way of Southwest Wyoming awards community impact grants totaling $862,500

United Way of Southwest Wyoming awards community impact grants totaling $862,500

SWEETWATER COUNTY – United Way of Southwest Wyoming (UWSW) awarded $862,500 in community impact grants to fourteen programs in Sweetwater County. The grants are awarded to programs that show measurable outcomes in three focus areas: education, health and basic needs and emergency assistance. These grants are made possible by individual and company donations given during the annual campaign.

UWSW’s education goals are to build and participate in collaborations that will decrease teen parenthood; affect a measurable increase in kindergarten readiness, third grade reading scores and graduations rates.

Current UWSW Funded Community Partners that meet the UWSW education goals in Sweetwater County are: Boys & Girls Club of Sweetwater County, Expedition Academy High School Child Care, Sweetwater County Child Developmental Center Social Emotional Program, Young At Heart Early Learning Center, and YWCA Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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“United Way wants to give every child a chance to succeed in school, work and life. Our partners are doing this in our community. Early learning is critical for a child to build a foundation for a successful future of learning. As they grow reading is a critical predictor of high school success – or failure. Children are learning to read through third grade; after that, they are reading to learn.” said Kathy Tacke, executive co-director.

UWSW’s health goals are to build and participate in collaborations that address the oral health needs and mitigate the burden of community healthcare costs.

Current UWSW Funded Community Partners that meet UWSW health initiative goals in Sweetwater County are: Hospice of Sweetwater County, Sweetwater Family Resource Center Family Visitation Program, VIRS Respite Care, and Western Wyoming Family Planning.

In the area of Basic Needs and Emergency Assistance, UWSW has set goals to foster an integrated set of community wide services to optimize individuals’ ability to meet their basic human needs in the areas of: food and shelter, safety, transportation and crisis services.

“We have programs that are working with families to meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial stability that will allow them to plan for, and accomplish, their long term goals,” said Tacke.

Current UWSW Funded Community Partners that meet the UWSW basic needs goals in Sweetwater County are: Food Bank of Sweetwater County, Young At Heart Senior Citizens Center Special Diet Meals, Youth Home, Inc., YWCA Support and Safe House, and YWCA Family Justice Center.

United Way’s campaign season begins in August and runs through March. Companies choose the time that is best for them to run a campaign. Employee contributions made up 60 percent of total contributions in 2012 with corporate gifts and special events contributing 40 percent of the $1.6 M total.

This year, UWSW’s Partners have a goal to improve the lives of over 16,670 people in southwest Wyoming. The 2013 campaign, “Be the one.”, kicks-off this month.

Tom Jarvie, UWSW board Chairman, said “Working together as a community we can make a difference by changing one life at a time. United Way’s community-impact plan, combined with the efforts of our partner agencies will change the odds for children and families across our region.”

“This year, any person who donates $100 or more will be automatically entered to win a vacation to a destination of their choice valued at $5000, sponsored by FMC,” stated Kelly Frink, executive co-director.

For more information on running a campaign at your work place or to make a donation please contact the United Way of Southwest Wyoming office at 362-5003 or go to our website at www.swunitedway.org.