The United Way of Hancock County board of directors approved grants during the monthly board meeting on Thursday, March 30. Funding was awarded to 27 programs offered by social service agencies throughout the county. Grants were reviewed by 38 community leaders who voluntarily served on impact teams in the areas of education, health and financial stability. The review process included an extensive evaluation of program results while also looking at the most pressing needs of the community.
A full listing of grants provided out of funds raised by the 2016 United Way campaign is as follows:
Boy Scouts of America, Black Swamp Council was awarded $50,000 for two programs: Exploring, which exposes youth to career opportunities and prepares them to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes; and Boy Scouting programs which promotes positive youth development and has a lasting impact on youth into young adulthood and throughout their life. A memorandum of understanding of up to $5,000 has been created to reimburse the organization for assisting boys who want to participate in Boy Scouts but do not have the financial resources to do so. An additional memorandum of understanding of up to $5,000 is also in place for the Lions program, a pilot program for 5-year old Kindergarten boys.
Camp Fire of Northwest Ohio was awarded $50,000 for their Thrive program, a research-based, measurable approach to youth development.
Cancer Patient Services was awarded $150,000 for its Patient Direct Services program providing medical supplies, nutritional supplements, emotional support, education and healing arts programs to cancer patients.
CASA/GAL of Hancock County was awarded $120,000 for its advocacy program which recruits, trains and supports volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates as they represent children who are abused, neglected or dependent or are involved in domestic relations disputes.
The Center for Safe and Healthy Children was awarded $26,000 for their forensic interview and examination program for abused children. The program provides a safe and caring place utilized by professionals who investigate child abuse allegations and guide these children and their families through the legal and healing process in the least traumatic way.
Century Health was awarded $61,641 for its Peer-to-Peer program, a recovery focused direct service provided by Peer Support Specialists trained to advocate and support others struggling with mental illness and addiction recovery.
Challenged Champions Equestrian Center was awarded $28,000 for its therapeutic riding program supporting residents of Hancock County with special needs, from early childhood to adulthood, and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder through horseback riding and other horse-related activities that promote physical, emotional and mental developments.
Children’s Mentoring Connection was awarded $113,874 for its Mentoring Youth at Risk program which recruits and screens adult volunteers to serve as mentors to children. Mentoring services are provided through traditional one-on-one, couple and family mentoring as well as community and school-based mentoring.
Findlay Family YMCA was awarded $50,000 for the Open Door Membership program which makes services accessible to low-income families while still requiring a financial contribution, allowing the family to take ownership and regard themselves as a contributing member to the YMCA and community. A memorandum of understanding of up to $41,000 has been created to reimburse the organization for the child care program which assists low-income families with child care expenses and provides opportunities for educational, social and physical development.
Family Resource Center was awarded $131,000 for three programs: Bright Beginnings which focuses on early childhood programming; Community Prevention youth programming which focuses on tobacco, substance and alcohol abuse prevention; and Hancock Addiction Prevention Program for Youth (HAPPY), a peer-to-peer prevention program.
Findlay Hope House for the Homeless was awarded $265,000 for four programs: the Housing Office, providing housing assistance and community referrals to low-income people; Independence Project which moves homeless families into permanent, affordable housing and out of poverty; Hope House Shelter, providing transitional housing to women and women with children; and the Getting Ahead program, a workshop providing those in poverty with resources to build a more prosperous life for themselves, their families and their communities.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio was awarded $47,000 for the Personal and Professional Development program which promotes girls’ personal growth and leadership development through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences that help them become socially, morally, emotionally, physically and cognitively competent. In addition, a memorandum of understanding of up to $10,000 has been created to reimburse the organization for girls in need who want to participate in Girl Scouts but do not have the financial resources to do so.
HHWP Community Action Commission was awarded $244,796 for Hancock Area Transportation Services (HATS), a public transportation program. HATS provides individual and contracted transportation allowing Hancock County residents to maintain their independence.
Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio was awarded $9,000 for the Patient Direct Services and Education program in Hancock County.
Open Arms Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Services was awarded $305,000 for three programs: Adult Services, providing immediate shelter for persons fleeing from violence; Child Services which includes screening for abuse, conducting support groups for children and providing supervised visits; and Violence Recovery, a program for offenders focused on taking responsibility and changing behavior.
In addition to the above grants, a memorandum of understanding has been entered into with the American Red Cross to reimburse services related to disaster relief and armed forces communications up to $37,500 for the year.
The total amount approved for agency programs and services totaled $1,712,311. Investor’s choice dollars totaled $223,988 this year. Designations to other United Ways totaled $120,206. The board has earmarked $200,000 for the Halt Hunger Initiative, which provides funding for local food pantries and programs addressing food insecurity. Funds have also been earmarked for the community’s collective impact work including the following projects: workforce coalition’s Raise the Bar-Hancock County director at $30,000; Hancock County pre-kindergarten scholarships at $145,000; and a community assessment at $5,000. $188,388 has also been placed in restricted reserves for initiative programs not yet finalized. Additional funds raised cover pledges that are uncollectable, board reserves and operating costs
Individuals interested in serving on an Impact Team can contact Bev Phillips, community services director, at 419-423-1432 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The mission of United Way of Hancock County is to measurably improve people’s lives in Hancock County. This is accomplished by advancing the common good through focusing on the building blocks of a good life: education, health and financial stability. For more information about the work of