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    Day of Caring

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    St. Paddy's Day 5K last year

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    Born Learning Trail opens at the Belleview Sports Complex


United Way Announces 2016-2018 Community Funding

United Way of Marion County board of directors announced today the investment of funds from the 2015 Annual Campaign. The campaign raised $1,875,028, the first increase in seven years which provided additional dollars for community programs.  The money will be used to support local programs that are reflective of the organization’s focus around the targeted areas of education, financial stability and health.  For the fiscal years 2016-18, beginning on July 1, 2016, United Way will fund 19 local service programs including two new programs.  Initial requests were $2.3 million dollars from 30 agencies for 40 programs.

“United Way of Marion County is excited to announce this support of vital community efforts.  Because of this funding and the programs it supports, children will be prepared for their education, families will receive support in their time of greatest financial need and homebound seniors will receive meals and social interaction, improving the quality of their lives,” said United Way of Marion County President and CEO, Scot Quintel.  “We are very grateful to those who contributed to the United Way last year as well as those who gave of their time to volunteer and participate in creation of these funding recommendations.  Giving of one’s money and time is not an obligation, it is a choice individuals make, and we are humbled by the countless individuals that choose to support the United Way and our efforts to improve the community.”

Fifty-six volunteers including community professionals from the education, income and health field gave more than 325 hours combined in reviewing and evaluating the applications for  each focus area in preparation of the request for proposals being distributed.  This was the first year of the new Vision Councils that included a more targeted approach to funding specific issues based on the current needs in the community. The volunteers carefully reviewed agency requests, studied agency audits and budgets, and reviewed program outcomes based on the seven target issues that United Way focuses on to see long-term improvement of community needs. 

Total community investment equals $1.26 million dollars.  Total community impact equals $3.1 million dollars in Marion County.  Below includes the community investments for 2016-18 (Total amounts per agency include Community Care Fund and Donor Designated Dollars.):


Arnette House                        $52,683     (EDUCATION)

Non Residential Family Counseling

(Provides counseling to students who are experiencing behavioral problems in school which interferes with their academic success.)

Boys & Girls Club                             $92,026     (EDUCATION AND HEALTH)

Project Learn

(Reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school through “high-yield” learning activities at the Club and in the home.)

Triple Play

 (Improves the overall health of Club members ages 6-18 by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships.)

Childhood Development Services     $102,212    (EDUCATION)

Head Start

(Prepares children for kindergarten success by utilizing the Creative Curriculum and effective Head Start teaching strategies.)

Children’s Home Society       $23,079     (EDUCATION)

Healthy Families

(Provides child development, parenting education, goal planning and assessment to at-risk families as a means to prevent child abuse and neglect.)

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida        $15,835  (INCOME)

Marion County Home Preservation Project

(Legal assistance for low-income homeowners and renters facing mortgage foreclosures, evictions, rental of foreclosed homes and prohibited landlord practices.)

Community of Gratitude               $14,100     (INCOME)

Emergency Food Center

(Provides emergency food for low income clients in East Lake Weir, Ocklawaha and Weirsdale areas..)

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center   $124,919    (INCOME and HEALTH)

Sustainable Housing/Economic Self-Sufficiency

(Ensures food, emergency safe housing, basic needs, and future stable housing are available to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.)

Crisis Intervention Family Safety

(Provides 24 hour crisis intervention, safety planning, crisis counseling, and safe shelter for domestic violence victims to prevent further violence, murder and suicide.)

Early Learning Coalition of Marion County        $102,500      (EDUCATION)

Supporting Early Education Literacy (S.E.E.L.)

(Eligible low-income working parents receive financial assistance for childcare while they are working and/or attending school, providing their child the benefit of educational opportunities.)

Fifth Circuit Public Guardian                $30,102     (HEALTH)

Marion County Public Guardian Program

(Assesses, obtains and oversees the medical and mental health services for indigent, mentally incapacitated, senior citizens who have no one to help them and are unable to help themselves and places them in safe homes.)

Heart of Florida Health Center                     $64,490     (HEALTH)

Pediatric Dental Program

(Provides dental care and oral health education to low income Marion County residents between birth and 18 and their parents.)

Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection   $64,969    (HEALTH)

Therapeutic Counseling & Advocacy

(Provides highly specialized services, in an all-in-one, child friendly environment to minimize trauma after an allegation of child abuse.)

Marion County Homeless Council                $20,000   (INCOME)

Homeless Prevention

(Provides families and single persons with medium term direct financial assistance necessary to stabilize their current housing situation and the longer term life skills to maintain a stable housing situation.)

Marion County Literacy Council                  $23,428    (INCOME)

Building Adult Literacy Skills

(Provides self-sufficiency and independence by offering quality instructional services to illiterate adults who seek personal educational growth.)

Marion Senior Services                $91,164   (HEALTH)

Meals on Wheels

(Provides meals, nutrition education and nutrition risk screening for Marion County citizens aged 60 years and older and their spouses and encourages socialization and better health.)

Salvation Army                                  $101,920     (INCOME)

Feeding Program

(Serves a nutritious hot breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year to the homeless and low income in Marion County.)

Shelter Program

(Provides emergency shelter beds for single men, women and families and transitional housing beds for single men, women, Veterans and families with children.)

Shepherd’s Lighthouse                      $20,467   (INCOME)

Direct Service

(Provides a safe environment for the rescue, empowerment and renewal of women and children in their time of need.)

In addition to the above funds, United Way of Marion County also invests resources into the following community services:

  • Success By 6, an early childhood initiative, partnering with the Early Learning Coalition of Marion County.               $38,000
  • 2-1-1, a free 24-hour information and referral service for Marion County residents.    $93,481
  • Strong Families, a financial stability effort that helps families get out of poverty and enhance their housing opportunities through skill building, case management, and mentoring  $104,147

Additional dollars where donated to 46 unaffiliated agencies totaling $74,371 through donor designations.

Furthermore, United Way was able to bring in dollars into the community from the following efforts:

  • $137,641 from FEMA to programs that focus on rent, emergency food and utility assistance.
  • $365,711 in prescription cost savings from FamilyWize prescription discount card to Marion County residents.
  • $923,985 claimed in Earned Income Tax Credit to 506 of families
  • Through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program:  2,163 tax returns were prepared saving Marion County families $360,500 in filing fees.
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