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United Way Blackhawk Region (UWBR) announces an investment of $1.7 million to support local programs in Rock and northern Winnebago counties in 2017.

The annual Community Grant process is designed to award funds to programs demonstrating community need, articulating program efficacy and results. Through the highly competitive process, United Way Blackhawk Region volunteer Board of Directors approved $1,730,461 in grant funding for 65 local health and human services programs for next year. 
“As a volunteer driven organization, we are honored to have amazingly dedicated individuals who volunteer for this in-depth process. Their commitment to program accountability and responsible stewardship ensures that every dollar raised is invested in services that do the most good,” said United Way Blackhawk Region President & CEO Mary Fanning-Penny. “The integrity of this process is United Way’s hallmark, and our diligent volunteers take the role very seriously.” 

Programs receiving grants in 2017, administered by 33 nonprofit organizations, are aligned with United Way’s Community Impact areas of health, education and financial stability - the building blocks for a good quality of life. 

Health: $433,429 will be invested to:
Provide kids with opportunities to enhance their health, as well as empower youth about how to make healthy choices and avoid risky behaviors. 
Improve community wellness by ensuring access to medical, dental and mental health care. 
Provide seniors and individuals with disabilities with services to lead healthy and productive lifestyles.

Education: $529,947 will be invested to:
Help kids be ready to learn and succeed in school through access to quality early care and education, and parent/family awareness and engagement. 
Support youth to be successful inside and outside the classroom through mentoring and enrichment opportunities.
Provide students with pathways to high school graduation and post-secondary success.

Financial Stability: $721,085 will be invested to:
Stabilize families in crisis by providing emergency food, shelter, transportation, rent assistance, and advocacy.
Help adults become self-sufficient through access to quality child care, job training, and supports to overcome barriers to sustaining employment.
Create empowered financial consumers through financial education, counseling, and free tax preparation.

In addition, United Way is investing a $25,000 grant in 2-1-1, an information and referral service providing 24-hour access to a caring, compassionate person that can connect residents to local resources. Ten thousand dollars in capacity building and venture grant funding will be available, $10,000 in emergency funding, as well as $1,000 investment to host Get Connected. 

“United Way is committed to changing lives and strengthening our community, and thanks to the generosity of our donors we are able to touch thousands of lives each year,” said Jon Schlemmer, Board Chair for United Way Blackhawk Region. “These investments are helping local children and families create a brighter future while also driving long-term returns that benefit everyone in our region.”

United Way’s 2017 Community Grants are dependent upon a successful fundraising campaign, which currently stands at $763,600 or 32% of the $2.4 million dollar goal. 

“While we’d love to support everyone, that’s unrealistic in today’s economic climate. Our responsibility remains to our donors, partners and ultimately the neighbors they serve, to invest United Way dollars where they are most effective and achieve the highest level of impact,” said Fanning-Penny. 

United Way Blackhawk Region asks you to give, advocate and volunteer for United Way. That’s what it means to Live United. To learn more visit LiveUnitedBR.org or call (608) 757-3040.

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