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United Way Announces First Phase of Funding
$1.3 million invested in the local community
Guelph, Ontario, April 6, 2022.
United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin has launched the first round of funding to community partners, under our new Community Impact Strategy, which looks to better respond to the community’s needs as we recover from the pandemic, address inequities and make funding more accessible.
“United Way is very proud to be able to continue to support both the current needs of our community and its growing and diversifying needs”, said Glenna Banda, Executive Director at United Way. “The past couple of years has really shown us how crucial our social services are to the wellbeing of our entire community and ensuring programs and services are there to support when needed is a critical part of our recovery. But perhaps even more importantly, the pandemic showed us that there were tremendous gaps in our system that require us to take a different approach to how we look at and address the root causes of issues like poverty. Our new Community Impact Strategy gives us the ability to do both.”
United Way invests funds in community programs based on identified community needs. Local agencies apply to receive United Way funding, and a dedicated group of volunteers manage the distribution of funds. This first phase of funding includes a $1.3 million investment in programs and services that build resilience in children and youth to support emotional wellbeing, increase belonging & inclusion, support mental health and connection to community supports.
There has also been an increased investment in Wellington & Dufferin Counties, that supports the unique needs of the rural communities. New funded programs include The Grove Youth Wellness Hubs in Wellington County, and the Lived Experience Advisory Network (LEAN) in Dufferin County.
“We are very excited about the opportunities ahead to work with our partners and support our community and again extend our gratitude to all the donors who supported the 2021 fundraising campaign that make this support possible,” said Banda.
As is the case for many non-profits, the pandemic has had an impact on the annual fundraising campaign, which impacts the level of support that can be extended to the community right now. Some difficult decisions were required that will have an impact on service delivery and ultimately the community.
“We are committed to focusing the dollars we do have on the most pressing and critical issues our community is facing right now, but we recognize that in doing so some of the services our community has come to love and rely on will be impacted,” said Banda. “We are hopeful for the future though and believe that our communities’ resilience and commitment to social good will get us to the Radial Recovery we all want and need.”
The next phase of funding will include the first round of Community Action Grants, as well as some inspiring work to align supports for housing, food insecurity and income security through the Poverty to Possibility focus area. In addition, applications will open next month to equity and rights seeking groups through a new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion funding stream.
“Supporting all who live in Guelph, Wellington & Dufferin is central to our organization and these new funding opportunities provide us the opportunity to give everyone an opportunity to be supported and thrive in our community,” said Colleen Murdoch, Director of Community Engagement & Impact. “There’s lots of exciting work to come, which means great things for our community!”