United Way of Greater New Bedford recently awarded $357,400 to local programs and initiatives through three of their Community Investment opportunities: Community Impact Grants, Community Building Mini-Grants, and Summer Fund.

Community Impact Grants totaling $279,000 were awarded to 14 non-profit organizations in Greater New Bedford earlier this month. All grant applications received were vetted and scored by a Citizens Review Committee comprised of solely of community volunteers. These grants support high-quality programs and services in the areas of health, education, financial stability, and basic needs - United Way’s targeted impact areas. The projects focus on addressing various issues such as improving mental health services for young children from low-income households, supporting individuals and families who are at risk of being or currently homelessness, closing the food gap, and building literacy skills to achieve academic success.

For over 20 years, the Community Building Mini-Grants Program has awarded all-volunteer groups who want to make a positive impact in the community with grants of up to $2,500. Mini-Grants is a unique program that empowers community volunteer groups to create change one project at a time. This year, $25,000 was awarded to 19 groups who will bring initiatives to the community like reading programs for children, safe spaces for children and families to stay active, and programs to fight hunger in the community. Mini-Grant applications are also reviewed by a committee of volunteers to determine awards.

United Way’s Summer Fund program provides grants to non-profits to give local youth meaningful summer enrichment experiences that they may not have otherwise due to financial restrictions. This summer, $53,400 has been awarded to 15 programs to provide camperships and youth employment opportunities. Summer Fund is a collaboratively funded program that benefits both children, teens, and nonprofits locally. Through youth employment, teens are employed at non-profits in the community. This provides the opportunity for teens to learn basic works skills and for non-profit organizations to increase their capacity.

“We are excited to see the impact that these grants will have in our region this coming year,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “These dedicated organizations are making strides towards a stronger community for all residents and we are happy to be a part of that journey.”

United Way has done so much to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Greater New Bedford by mobilizing people, partnerships, and resources. Since 1953, United Way has served the City of New Bedford and surrounding towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and Wareham. For a complete list of grant recipients and to learn more about United Way of Greater New Bedford, click HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities on the SouthCoast, click HERE.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420