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Deschutes United Way distributes $309K to 21 nonprofits


A total of 21 Central Oregon nonprofits have been collectively awarded $309,000 from United Way of Deschutes County as part of the organization’s annual grant-making process, the agency announced Friday.

Every year, our local United Way launches a community campaign to raise funds that are used to address the most pertinent, unmet needs of individuals and families in our community. Funds raised through this process stay local to help our friends and neighbors and to address some of the biggest issues affecting our region, improving lives and creating lasting change.

United Way supports local, direct-service nonprofits that focus on a wide range of human health and welfare issues, from basic needs to empowerment, through grant-making that provides direct financial aid to these programs and services. Nonprofit organizations that receive grants from United Way through this process are called Community Impact Partners.

Grant recipients include organizations or programs that are focused on building resilience in Central Oregon. One such program is Central Oregon 2-1-1 Info. Similar to the 9-1-1 emergency phone number, 2-1-1 is a one-stop connection to local services, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, and more.

When someone dials 2-1-1 from anywhere in Central Oregon, they are connected with a highly-trained call specialist who is skilled in needs assessment and can provide referrals to resources. Every day, call specialists help callers find assistance for complex issues such as financial problems, substance abuse, and suicide prevention, as well as for simpler issues such as finding volunteer opportunities and donation options.

Council on Aging of Central Oregon’s Meals on Wheels program is another United Way grantee. Meals on Wheels enhances the quality of life of homebound individuals by providing home-delivered nutritious meals, personal contact, and related services. Many of those served by the program are seniors and many live in rural areas. In recent months, the importance of resources for seniors facing depression has come into the spotlight. For years, the Council on Aging of Central Oregon has provided this vital service to so many members of our community.

Other grant recipients include: Back Door Cafe, Bethlehem Inn, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend, Camp Fire, CASA, Tax-Aide, Friends of the Children, Healthy Beginnings, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Heart of Oregon Corps, Big Brothers Big Sisters, J Bar J Runaway & Homeless Youth Programs, KIDS Center, Latino Community Association, Mosaic Medical, Mountain Star Relief Nursery, NeighborImpact Food and Housing Stabilization Programs, and Saving Grace.

United Way board member John Hummel co-chaired the Community Impact Committee, which was made up of 22 local community member volunteers who reviewed the grant proposals and made funding award decisions.

He said: “It was heartening to read proposals from so many wonderful community organizations that devote all their waking hours to improving the lives of members of our community. At the same time, it was disheartening to have insufficient resources to fully fund every worthy request. We focused the resources we had on programs that address the impacts of childhood trauma and focus on developing resilience.”

United Way of Deschutes County is leading a community-wide social movement to build resilience in individuals, families, and our community, and to increase awareness and decrease impacts of childhood trauma. For 66 years, the organization has focused on health, education, and financial stability as the foundation of wellbeing and opportunity, along with basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. As the nonprofit continues to focus on these causes, it is also working upstream to tackle childhood trauma: the root cause of many problems currently faced by so many in our community. To learn more about United Way of Deschutes County, visit or call (541)3896507.

United Way of Deschutes County is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

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