United Way Announces 2020-2022 Community Grants

Ocala, Fla. (June 8, 2020) --- United Way of Marion County Board of Directors announces today their investments in local nonprofits that were selected to receive Community Grants for the next two years. These grants were funded by unrestricted contributions made to United Way’s Community Care Fund during the 2019 annual fundraising campaign. The local programs selected are reflective of the organization’s focus around the targeted areas of education, financial stability and health. Beginning July 1, 2020, United Way will provide funding to 27 programs at 21 local agencies totaling $899,120. This year’s application process was very competitive, with 32 agencies requesting support for 42 programs. 

Thirty-eight volunteers including United Way of Marion County’s Board of Directors as well as community professionals from the education, financial stability and health fields spent more than 2,800 hours combined reviewing and evaluating the applications. To be considered, agencies submitted a letter of intent followed by an online application that included both general financial information and program specific budgets, descriptions and outcome measurements. Agency staff also had the opportunity to present to the Vision Councils about their programs. Applications were then ranked, prioritized based on how much the program addresses current community needs, and selected based on the amount of funding available.

Agencies that have been selected to become United Way of Marion County’s Funded Partners are:

Arnette House
Non-Residential Family Counseling:  Provides counseling to students who are experiencing behavioral problems in school which interferes with their academic success.

Boys & Girls Club of Marion County
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 Sports Fitness & Recreation:  Improves overall health of Club members ages 6-18 by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships.
Money Matters: Promotes financial responsibility and independence among Teen Club members by building their basic money management skills

Blessed Trinity Catholic Church
Brother’s Keeper Soup Kitchen:  Ensures that a warm meal is available to men, women, and children who lack the resources for safe and healthy living in our community.
Emergency Utility Assistance Program: Maintains continuous services or re-connection assistance if a client’s services were disconnected due to an inability to pay.

Children’s Home Society of Florida
Mid Florida Community Counseling:   Provides in-home and in-school behavioral health services to Marion County residents via telehealth.

Community of Gratitude        
Emergency Food Center : Provides emergency food for low-income clients in East Lake Weir, Ocklawaha and Weirsdale areas.

Creative Services
Crisis Intervention:  Provides 24 hour crisis intervention, safety planning, crisis counseling, and safe shelter for domestic violence victims to prevent further domestic violence and murder/suicide.
Sustainable Housing/Economic Self-Sufficiency:  Ensures that food, emergency safe housing, basic needs, and future stable housing are available to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Early Learning Coalition of Marion County
VPK Expansion: Initiative to increase the number of VPK students in Marion County.

Episcopal Children's Services
Early Education:  Provides better starts for children and ensures that they are eager to learn and ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten.

Florida Center for the Blind 
Vision Buddies Screening Program:  Provides a comprehensive vision screening to students, including functional vision assessment of central vision, peripheral vision, static movement, binocular function, and colorblindness.

FreeD.O.M. Clinic
Childhood Community Dental Hygiene Education Program:  Provides oral screening, fun and engaging oral hygiene instruction on proper brushing and flossing techniques, nutritional counseling and education, and fluoride application.

Habitat for Humanity of Marion County 
Mortgage Program:  Provides mortgage assistance to eligible Habitat homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Owners must demonstrate a financial hardship.

Heart of Florida Health Center
Pediatric Dental Program:  Provides compassionate, family-centered dental care and oral health education to primarily low-income children in Marion County.

His Compassion
Mobile Food Access Delivery: Provides food delivery to increase the availability to those who are experiencing food insufficiency.

Kimberly's Center for Child Protection
Therapeutic Counseling & Advocacy:  Provides highly specialized services, in an all-in-one, child-friendly environment to minimize trauma after and allegation of child abuse.
Child Abuse Prevention: Provides youth with internet safety knowledge and teaches them to identify unsafe situations to  reduce/prevent unintentional injuries.

Marion County Homeless Council
Homeless Prevention:  Provides families and single persons with medium term direct financial assistance necessary to stabilize their current housing situation.

Marion County Literacy Council
Building Adult Literacy Skills:  Provides self-sufficiency and independence buy offering quality instructional services to illiterate adults who seek personal educational growth.

Marion Senior Services
Meals On Wheels:  Provides meals, nutrition education and risk screening for Marion County citizens and their spouse, and encourages socialization and better health.

Shepherds Lighthouse
Direct Services:  Provides a safe environment for the rescue, empowerment and renewal of women and children in their time of need.

The Centers, Inc.
Coordination of Care: Increases and supports the accessibility of mental health services to all community residents through streamlined and enhanced access to services.

The Pearl Project
Healing Homes: Provides counseling and therapeutic sessions to teach children pro-social behaviors and problem-solving skills, and provide caregivers with training and self-worth sessions.

The Salvation Army
Feeding Program : Serves nutritious meals every day of the year to homeless and low income in Marion County.
Shelter Program:  Provides emergency shelter beds for single men, women and families, and assists clients with developing a self-sufficiency plan. 

In addition to the Community Grants listed above, United Way of Marion County will also continue to manage and fund their internal initiatives in the year ahead, which includes: 2-1-1 information and referral service, V.I.T.A (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, Strong Families, ReadingPals, and Success by 6.

Learn more about the Community Grant process by visiting UWMC.org/Impact or contact the United Way office at 352-732-9696.

Jessica Nisbett
Director of Resource Development
352-732-9696 Ext. 211