Basic and Emergency Needs


child care

In Columbia and Montour counties, 38% of children under the age of five are considered economically at risk. Since 1990, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has been funding programs that tackle that problem with programs that allow parents to attend work or other commitments knowing their kids are getting the quality care they need in a safe and healthy environment that also helps children learn the academic skills that will get them ready for kindergarten.

The funded organizations providing this service are:



In our area, the Bloomsburg and Danville areas are particularly susceptible to being more impacted in flooding events. When disaster strikes, it’s crucial to have a group of volunteers capable of operating mass-care shelters and enough supplies to provide comfort and care to evacuees. For many years, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has funded Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery programs in our area to ensure the best possible preparedness and emergency relief for natural disasters and other unforeseen emergencies, so we can provide those in need with the necessary financial support and any other form of assistance to guarantee a viable means of recovery.

The funded organizations that provide these services:


financial emergency assistance

For people in financial stress, every expense represents a necessity that often cannot be afforded. The funding provided by United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has enabled the Salvation Army to help members of our community who are experiencing a financial emergency. Vouchers are provided for those who are in need of clothing, food, heat, rent, shelter, transportation, utilities, etc. To be eligible, individuals must provide identification, proof of income and proof of expenses to the case representative.

To learn more about this service, click the link below:


emergency and transitional housing

Housing issues can have different origins. To help tackle that issue, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has been partnering with other non-profit organizations to provide the necessary assistance for those are experiencing homelessness and need a roof over their heads, whether on a temporary basis or for a longer period.

The funded organizations that provide these services are:


financial subsidies

The funding provided by United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties allows low-income families to receive a diverse range of services at an affordable cost. See below the list of funded organizations that offer different programs at discounted rates and click their name to find out more.


free internet access

For many members of our community, having access to the internet and the world of resources it can provide is not an easy task. To help solve this problem, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has been funding the region’s libraries with the goal of providing free computers with internet access and Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile devices, currently available at Bloomsburg Public Library.

The libraries that provide this service are:


free tax preparation

Filing taxes can be a daunting and expensive task, especially for people who are not financially literate or struggle to make ends meet. To help with this important service to our community, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties is offering the VITA program – Volunteer Income Tax Association – that provides free tax help for people who make $55,000 or less, people with special needs and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide FREE basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. The service is available from February to early April.

If you need help with your taxes, see if you qualify for the VITA program!
Contact us at (570) 784 3134 or email [email protected]



For years, our community has been struggling with public transportation issues. Whether it’s for a medical consult, commute to work or to attend any other appointment, low-income families often don’t have a reliable option for getting around our region. To help with this critical need, United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties has partnered with Community Strategies Group (CSG), CSO - Community Action Agency and First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. to develop the Revolving Car Loan, a program that offers vehicle loans at affordable rates to individuals in need of transportation to improve their employment status or obtain gainful employment.

Additional Information:
The Revolving Car Loan is a low interest loan program for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed and need transportation to get back and forth to a job.

Program Purpose:
The purpose of the program is to:
●     Assist individuals and families who lack transportation
●     Enable individuals and families to work and increase their income through the purchase of a vehicle.
●     The committee recognizes that increased income potential might be a long-term goal such as in the case of assisting with transportation to achieve a degree of any kind.

A letter of support is needed to be considered for this program. The letter of support can come from either a human service organization that the potential client works with or their current employer. If an individual is accepted into the program they are given their own loan through First Columbia Bank and are required to purchase their own car insurance. As the individual pays the loan back the dollars are deposited back into the bank account to get another client on the road.

To learn more about the program, call us at (570) 784 3134.


Learn about the other Areas of Impact:

Education and Mentorship
Health and Wellness