The focus for recipients of a community investment grant from UW will need to be from one of four areas of need:
n Strengthening and supporting families by enhancing financial stability, parenting skills, education and vocational skills to improve employability and create opportunities for self-sufficiency and strong family units.
n Meeting basic needs and crisis services addressing basic, temporary and urgent needs including food, shelter, safety and disaster/crisis response.
n Empowering children and youth to succeed by preparing them to become responsible adults who are emotionally, cognitively and physically prepared to succeed in school, work and their community.
n Promoting health and wellness by maintaining and improving physical and mental health services and access to them.
A letter of intent will be required of all agencies regardless of past support. The board of directors will review each application and select those it feels able to fund, said Michelle Parrish, executive director. Funding of any program is not guaranteed by an application in what is a competitive granting process.
She said programs most likely to be funded include those which address identified and/or emerging community health and human service needs, benefit a substantial number of people, deliver efficient and cost-effective services, encourage self-reliance, focus on prevention, avoid duplication of services and enhance cooperation and collaboration among organizations.
Letters of intent are due to be submitted by noon July 17. Following a board review in August, selected partnering agencies will then be asked to submit a full application for funding.
During the 2008 to 2009 campaign, UW raised $262,130. That was an increase of over $100,000 from the previous year. Parrish said a new goal has yet to be set.
Each quarter the partnering agencies submit a report on their activities to UW including the number of people served. From January through March, agencies so far have served some 2,000 people.
“While the economy is taking a hit, we hope everyone will still be able to reach deep into pockets to help our partnering agencies maintain their levels of service to the community,” Parrish said.
To help boost income for UW, Parrish and volunteers have been holding fund-raising events such as gift wrapping and hot dog sales.
Last year partnering agencies were asked to participate in a “Day of Caring” working throughout the community. “It was so successful, we plan to hold another perhaps this fall,” she said.
“During the new campaign, we hope to add new businesses and industries as well as appeal to the general public,” Parrish said, “and are looking forward to working with those who supported us last year.”
Those seeking funding this year will be asked to specify the anticipated outcome of the programs which they present for consideration.
“We need to know what each agency is attempting to do , why there is a need for it, the expected outcome and how it will be known if the outcome was achieved,” Parrish said.
Last year, 17 agencies were approved.
They are: Sandhills Children’s Center, Roberdel Children’s Center, Richmond County 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Leak Street Alumni, Richmond County Aging Services, Samaritan Colony, Richmond County Literacy Council, Richmond Christian Counseling, American Red Cross, New Horizons and Family Services, Salvation Army, Ellerbe Rescue Squad, Rockingham Rescue Squad, Hamlet Soup Kitchen and Rockingham Soup Kitchen and Homeless Shelter.
n Contact reporter Tom MacCallum at 997-3111, ext. 15; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.