July 22, 2020 — United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) announced this week that it will award $555,357 in grants to support 40 local non-profit programs through its Community Impact Fund. In addition, UWNCM has raised and is currently distributing more than $300,000 in grants to help families and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, bringing its total recent grant distributions to nearly $1 million.

The UWNCM Community Impact Fund makes grants annually to programs that address the region’s most critical needs in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. The recent round of grants will support a wide variety of programs that provide services including housing and shelter, food and nutrition, early literacy resources, and youth engagement.

Several non-profits have received Community Impact Fund grants for multiple years, enabling them to build long-term partnerships with UWNCM. For example, both North Star Family Services, Inc in Leominster and Athol Area YMCA in Athol have continued to receive funding for their services for families experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

“The annual financial support that North Star receives from the United Way directly supports the traumatized, homeless families who have exhausted all of their resources and are desperate. These families are in crisis and North Star and the United Way are the safety net that take them in. We humbly thank the United Way for their continued support,” says Jon Hogue, Executive Director of North Star Family Services, Inc.

“There is the rich history of support and partnership between the Athol Area YMCA and United Way in Athol,” says Jennifer Gordon, Executive Director of Athol Area YMCA. “From child care to senior fitness, swim lessons to weight loss programming, the United Way and the Athol Area YMCA are committed to working together to make our community a place for families to learn, grow and thrive. We look forward to continuing our work together and ensuring the success of the region.”

Additionally, UWNCM is in the process of distributing more than $300,000 raised from its Stand United COVID-19 Response Fund. Launched in March, the fund helps local agencies provide for basic and on-going needs of community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including food, housing, utilities, and other essentials. Grants are being deployed through September 2020 in response to evolving needs.

“We are honored to support these dedicated and mission-driven organizations, as the need for these critical services has never been greater,” says UWNCM President Kory Eng. “We look forward to working together to strengthen our community during this unprecedented time.”

 For complete details on the grant funding, visit uwncm.org.

The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Pepperell, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.

Agencies that received funding:

•  Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg & Leominster

•  Boy & Girls Club of Lunenburg

•  Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester

•  Children’s Aid & Family Service, Inc.

•  Community Health Connection, Inc.

•  Gardner Community Action Committee, Inc.

•  House of Peace and Education, Inc.

•  Literacy Volunteers of Montachusett Area

•  Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Inc.

•  L.U.K. Crisis Center

•  Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc.

•  Montachusett Home Care Corporation

•  Mount Wachusett Community College

•  North Star Family Services, Inc.

•  Our Father’s House

•  Pathways to Change,  Inc.

•  Spanish American Center, Inc.

•  The Arc of Opportunity

•  The Salvation Army of Fitchburg

•  YMCA of Central Massachusetts

•  YWCA of Central Massachusetts

•   Mass 211

•  Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts

•  Nashua Valley Boy Scouts of America, Inc.

•  Literacy Volunteers of Orange-Athol

•  American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts

•  The Salvation Army of Athol

•   Athol Area YMCA

•  Growing Places

•  Ginny’s Helping Hands

•  Habitat of Humanity of North Central Massachusetts