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United Way Community Impact Fund invest in 46 programs

United Way of North Central Massachusetts announced that 46 health and human service programs will receive funding from their Community Impact Fund.

"These initiatives we are investing in are the building blocks for a better life -  education, income, health and safety net services," commented Steve Stone, chair of the board of directors of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. 

The nearly $820,000 in funds, which come from individual donations, corporate and employee contributions are distributed based on a health and human services needs assessment the organization conducts.

"We use the information from this comprehensive report to identify important community issues," noted Matt Johnson, chair of United Way's Community Investment Division.

The report guides the community investment committee, which includes nearly 50 community volunteers along with staff members, on which programs it funds. This year, 24 agencies, with 46 programs will target four specific impact initiatives:  education, income, health and safety net services.

Two United Way special initiatives were funded, United Youth Venture, which is empowering young people to make a difference in their community by creating youth-led causes, and United Way's Community Builders, a program that promotes volunteerism through fellowships and a volunteer website.

In the area of education, with its goal of helping children achieve their potential the following programs were funded: Battered Women's Resources' Community Partnerships; HOPE for Kids; LUK Crisis Center's Passages/Transitions; Montachusett Regional YMCA's Teen Center and Youth Program; Salvation Army's Bridging the Gap and Summer Fun (Time Out for Youth); Spanish American Center's Crossroads After School Program  and Advocacy Project; Partnership for Latino Success' Parent & Youth Outreach Program;  Children's Aid & Family Services' Family Counseling Center and Child Care Center Parent; Guild of Saint Agnes' Child Care Center; Montachusett Opportunity Council's School Age Program; Multi-Service Center's Safety Kids, Generations Linked and Family Resource Center; Literacy Volunteers' Literacy Program; Catholic Charities' Family Resource Center; and Nashua Valley Council Boy Scouts' United Way Youth Venture After School Scouting Program.

Four income programs, which are focused on promoting financial stability and independence, were funded: HOPE for Women; Catholic Charities' Family Resource Center; Montachusett Home Care's Money Management Program; and Spanish American Center's Helping Ourselves. 

Health programs funded included:  Battered Women's Resources' Community-Based Violence Services; Gardner VNA's Community Services Center and Maternal Child Health; Project Contact @ Bonnie Brae's Project Contact; ARC's Family Support & Advocacy; Gardner CAC's Medical Transportation; MA Association for the Blind's Vision Services;  Montachusett Home Care's Volunteer Companion;  Multi-Service Center's Preventative Health Program; and Rape Crisis Center's Community Response to Sexual Assault.

For safety net services, which provide emergency housing and food support, nine programs were funded:  Battered Women's Resources' Aralia Emergency Shelter, Catholic Charities' Basic Life Skills & Emergency Assistance, Gardner CAC's Fellowship Table and Food Distribution/Emergency Assistance; Loaves & Fishes' Food Pantry; Montachusett Addiction Council; Montachusett Opportunity Council's CARE Services/Food Resources and Leona Fleming Food Pantry; and the Salvation Army's Comprehensive Emergency Assistance. 

"Thanks to our generous donors, we are especially pleased, given the challenging economy, that we were able to keep our funding at last year's level," concluded Stone. 

United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Barre, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.