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21 Cares for Kids

United Way of Central Oregon awards $245,000 to local, regional nonprofits

United Way of Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A total of 31 Central Oregon nonprofits have been collectively awarded $245,000 from United Way of Central Oregon as part of the organization’s annual grant-making process.

As an intermediary funder, UWCO -- a 21 Cares for Kids partner -- supports local, direct-service nonprofits that focus on a wide range of human health and welfare issues – from basic needs to empowerment – through grantmaking that provides direct financial aid to these programs and services.

Last year, the organization’s grantmaking was focused on community needs formed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, United Way has returned to its customary annual grantmaking cycle and focused on supporting local and regional agencies as they help our community members adapt and recover from the pandemic.

This funding is helping these nonprofits as they stabilize the delivery of services that build resilience in individuals, families, and our Central Orgon community – achieving positive outcomes in the face of adversity.

This year’s grant recipients include: Assistance League of Bend ($3,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend ($12,000), CASA of Central Oregon ($8,000), Children's Forest of Central Oregon ($5,000), Council on Aging of Central Oregon ($5,000), DAWNS House ($8,000), Diversability, Inc ($8,000), Families Forward ($8,000), Family Access Network ($16,000), Friends of the Children - Central Oregon ($12,000), Habitat for Humanity of La Pine Sunriver Critical Home Repair ($5,000), Healing Justice Collective of Central Oregon ($5,000), Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center ($5,000), Heart of Oregon Corps ($12,000), KIDS Center ($6,000), La Pine Community Kitchen ($5,000), The Latino Community Association ($12,000), MountainStar Family Relief Nursery ($16,000), NeighborImpact Food Bank ($12,000), NeighborImpact Housing & Homeless Services ($8,000), Redmond Senior Center ($5,000), Rimrock Trails Treatment Services ($12,000), Saving Grace of Central Oregon ($7,000), Shepherd's House Ministries ($5,000), SMART Reading ($5,000), St. Vincent De Paul – La Pine ($5,000), Society of St Vincent De Paul – Redmond ($3,000), THE SHIELD ($5,000), Thrive Central Oregon ($7,000), Treehouse Therapies Associates ($8,000), and Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades ($12,000).

Nonprofit organizations that receive grants from United Way are working every day to address the most pertinent, unmet needs of individuals and families in our community. United Way’s “Community Impact Partners” are 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are assessed and rigorously reviewed on a competitive basis using standardized criteria by a Community Impact Committee (CIC), made of up volunteers representing all segments of our community, before receiving a grant. After receiving a grant, these nonprofits submit reports to United Way throughout the funding cycle.

Joshua Romero volunteers as chair of UWCO’s CIC and on the Board of Directors. He said of UWCO’s grantmaking: “Central Oregon is fortunate to have so many incredible nonprofits supporting our community. I’m honored that United Way Central Oregon and our donors get to be a part of investing in these nonprofits and improving the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of everyone these organizations serve. I’m proud of our continued focus on diversity and equity in our grantmaking and am excited to see how it impacts the lives of our friends and neighbors in Central Oregon.”      

Among the funded organizations are several first-time United Way grant recipients. Children’s Forest unites our community to inspire lifelong connections to nature for each child. Diversability, Inc. empowers community connections for individuals with diversabilities and their families. Families Forward provides small loans to help low‐income individuals and families with rental security deposits or establishing credit. Healing Justice Collective of Central Oregon exists to resource Black, Indigenous, Identifying People of Color, and historically oppressed people in their healing. Society of St Vincent De Paul – Redmond helps local community members in need. THE SHIELD provides mental health services to Central Oregon veterans and first responders. And, Treehouse Therapies Associates positively impacts children and families in our community by providing compassionate, comprehensive, and affordable therapy programs regardless of insurance or financial limitations.

Last year, during COVID-19, United Way of Central Oregon modified its grantmaking process to award funds to address immediate emergency needs created by the pandemic and then to help the nonprofits who serve our community adapt the way they operate. The nonprofit created two Funds focused on Emergency Response, Recovery, and Resilience that addressed the fallout of COVID-19 across Central Oregon, and from them awarded 44 COVID-19 Partners with $295,000 in emergency relief.

Also last year, UWCO created a plan for distributing $500,000 that came from the City of Bend’s CARES Act funding to nonprofit organizations providing essential services to vulnerable populations. And, the agency was tasked with distributing $260,000+ in federal Emergency Food & Shelter funds in Deschutes County.

26% of Central Oregonians were served by a program or service funded by United Way last year.

About United Way of Central Oregon

United Way of Central Oregon is working towards equitable access to resources for all Central Oregonians. Through grantmaking, the local nonprofit is striving to reduce disparities and increase equity. Each year, UWCO awards grants to vetted local nonprofits that focus on health, education, prevention and development, financial stability, basic needs, childhood trauma, community transformation, and building resilience. UWCO is working to ensure all community members are cared for by directing efforts and resources to where they will have the greatest impact, especially for individuals identified as being part of our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. Learn more and donate at: unitedwaycentraloregon.org or call 541-389-6507.

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