On 2014 MAY 28, the United Way Board of Directors approved allocations totalling $68,000 in support of six programs.

Community Impact Grants exist to address new and emerging needs in the community, within our three Focus Areas:  From poverty to possibility, All that kids can be, and Strong communities.  They may support a one-time initiative, provide seed funds for a start-up or expansion program, provide short-term bridge funding to other funding sources, or act as a “testing ground” for agencies that may be considering funded agency status down the road.

 In addition to allocations to Member Agencies, designations to Non-Member charities, and grants to Women’s Leadership Council recipients, the United Way Board of Directors budgets, annually, approximately 3% of the announced campaign achievement for Community Impact Grants.

 All that kids can be …

 The Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre will receive $15,700 for their Youth Violence Prevention Program.  This program reaches out to youth aged 13-18 who are dealing with relationship concerns, family stress, anger management and navigating life’s daily challenges.

 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chatham-Kent has received bridge financing of $6,000 for their Three French Language Site-Based Mentorship Programs, which will allow them to expand their In-School Mentoring, Go Girls and Game On Programs into our French community and French schools.

 The YMCA will receive $5,000 in support of a new program – Beyond the Bell.  Our local YMCA is one of three YMCAs across Canada to be chosen for this pilot program, which has shown exceptional outcomes in the Burlington area for the past several years.  Beyond the Bell helps to break the cycle of poverty by closing the achievement gap experienced by low-income children compared to their middle-income classmates.

 From poverty to possibility …

 FARMSTART is a new initiative in Chatham-Kent that strives to introduce farming, through an incubator farm model, to interested individuals who might not otherwise have access to the resources and knowledge.  United Way has allocated $22,000 to FARMSTART to conduct feasibility analyses and planning to ensure that FARMSTART’s know-how and services are integrated into the local context and respond to local needs.

 Community Living Wallaceburg will receive $14,800 for their Summer Employment Access (SEA) Program.  Two Summer Job Coaches will be hired to help market the SEA Program to employers.  They will act as peer role models to youth with a disability- related barrier to employment, who are looking to develop job skills and secure paid positions over the summer.  The job coaches will provide on-the-job training, orientation and assistance with developing natural supports in the workplace for the employees, and liaise with employers to ensure their labour requirements and expectations are being met.

 Strong Communities …

 AIDS Support Chatham-Kent will support their PHA clients (persons living with HIV/AIDS) through a $4,500 Community Impact Grant.  A major barrier for PHAs is transportation.  This grant will facilitate transportation to three Leadership Workshops, two holiday celebrations, two regional social outings and medical appointments.  The grant will also provide resources for PHAs to prepare and share nutritional meals with one another during local, monthly socials. 

 These grants are for a one year period, with the option of applying, should funding be available, for a second year.

 For more information, contact Helen Heath, Director, Community Impact at Helen@uwock.ca or 519-354-0430 x 274.