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United Way Wednesday: April 21

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 11:20 AM EDT
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I’m Meteorologist Anna Hamelin and we’re back with another edition of United Way Wednesday. Today I’m joined again by Emily Swain from the United Way of Marion and Taylor counties. Now I’ve been wondering, how exactly do agencies get involved, what does that process look like?

Swain: Sure, so each year the United Way has a community review process, and that is where agencies that are interested in becoming a funded partner of United Way apply for funding with us based on those campaign dollars that were raised the previous year. We rely so heavily on volunteers for this process- we have about 40 volunteers that participate in the selection and decisions for the allocation. It’s a very in-depth process, there are site visits involved, there are meetings with agencies and agencies giving presentations on their programs and organizations, and then the community review community actually makes those decisions about which agency receives dollars each year.

Hamelin: That seems like quite the rigorous process. So then if an agency does make it through, and they’re able to get that funding, what do they do to help the community?

Swain: Our funded partners are wonderful about being engaged in the community. They certainly do their day-to-day work, whether it’s feeding people or finding housing for people, or providing educational opportunities. We also have some opportunities for them as United Way  to participate in broader community initiatives, such as our Day of Action or Warm Coats Warm Hearts Campaign, or the United for Kids Campaign. Things like that where they, their staff, their board members, can also participate in these really broad community-wide initiatives. That really helps our funded partners connect and have a larger footprint in our community so we can help those who need it.

Hamelin: What an awesome way to get so many different agencies involved with helping the people that they directly serve. We are so thankful for the United Way and everything they do in our communities, so thank you Emily for taking the time to tell us all about that today.

Swain: Absolutely, we really appreciate all of our funded partners, and all of the agencies that apply for United Way funding. They’re doing such good work and we’re really proud to be part of that.

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