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United Way of C. Oregon distributes $35,000 in grants to Crook, Jefferson, Warm Springs nonprofits

United Way of Deschutes County

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Six nonprofits that serve Crook and Jefferson counties, as well as the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, have been collectively awarded $35,000 from United Way of Central Oregon in its second round of grantmaking since this summer.

In an effort to reduce barriers to accessing funding faced by nonprofit applicants serving communities beyond Deschutes County, this grant application was much shorter than UWCO’s standard application, had fewer requirements, and came with a simpler process for the committee of volunteer reviewers to follow.

These grant recipients are: Redemption House Ministries ($5,000), Every Child Central Oregon ($10,000), Jefferson County Faith Based Network – LINC Madras program ($5,000), The Children's Learning Center ($5,000), Treehouse Therapies Associates ($5,000), and Warm Springs Community Action Team ($5,000).

Along with UWCO’s first round of grantmaking this summer, which awarded $245,000 to 31 Central Oregon nonprofits, UWCO has collectively funded 36 local and regional nonprofits with $280,000.

UWCO’s Executive Director Ken Wilhelm said of these grants, “Naturally, the grants align with our mission to fight for health, education, financial stability, and resilience. While many of the programs we fund provide services throughout the region, we want to also support agencies that are based in and serve communities beyond Bend-Redmond. We are grateful for local community volunteers who helped us get the word out that we had set aside money for this purpose and helped decide where the grants would make the most impact.”

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.

Since the pandemic began, UWCO has awarded over $1.5 million to local and regional nonprofits. Last year, during COVID-19, UWCO 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.

About United Way of Central Oregon

United Way of Central Oregon (UWCO) is working towards equitable access to resources for all Central Oregonians. Through grantmaking, the local nonprofit is striving to reduce disparities and increase equity. As an intermediary funder, UWCO 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. Learn more and donate at: or call 541-389-6507.

United Way of Central Oregon is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

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