Press Release on grant programs investments

PRESS RELEASE: United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties announces grant programs investments that will fund partner agencies to meet its Community Impact Goals

Starting in July, 24 local non-profits will receive grant funds to address different issues in the community.

Bloomsburg, PA (July 22nd, 2019) - United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties reaffirmed its commitment to educate more kids, lift families and individuals to financial stability and create a healthier community after the organization’s Board of Directors approved the funding recommendations made by community volunteers for the 2018 Campaign.

 “After an extensive and strict evaluation process from our Grants Committee and Board of Directors, we hope to address, in the most efficient and effective way, the greatest needs in our community. These needs have been identified through our needs assessment” said Adrienne Mael, President/CEO of the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties.

“We’re committed to creating meaningful change in our communities,” Mael says. “One way we drive change is by investing in programs that help with Basic and Emergency Needs to impact especially our low-income families who most need this form of assistance.”

Basic and Emergency Needs programs were awarded a total of $168,614.64 and include initiatives in Child Care, providing kids the quality care they need in a safe and healthy environment; Disaster Relief and Assistance, which provide financial support and any other form of assistance to guarantee a viable means of recovery to those impacted by a disaster; Financial Emergency Assistance, which will help members of the community with vouchers for clothing, food, heat, rent, shelter, transportation, utilities, and others; Emergency and Transitional Housing, to provide the necessary assistance for individuals experiencing homelessness and in need of a temporary shelter; Financial Subsidies, to allow low-income families to receive a diverse range of services at an affordable cost; and Free Internet Access, to assure every member of the community has access to online resources.

Funding for Education and Mentorship programs totaled $119,198.77 and focuses on Child and Youth Engagement, offering educational, social, cultural and recreational opportunities for children and teenagers; Early Education, which provides research-based curricula that supports children’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical development; Literacy, allowing local public libraries to offer literacy programs both for children and adults; Mentorship, enabling organizations to offer mentoring programs to children and teenagers in preparation of their future; and Workforce, to address the needs of individuals with special needs in becoming more active and contributing members of the communities they live in.

The grants awarded for Health and Wellness programs reached $24,860.00 and will provide resources in the following areas: Life Enhancing, to help people with special needs such as physical, emotional and cognitive, ranging from behavioral disorders to quadriplegia; Recreational Services, allowing individuals to keep a healthy mental and physical life style and enjoy moments of fun; Senior Citizen Living, with access to healthy and joyful places for seniors to socialize and have fun while keeping mentally and physically active; and Sight Services, to offer vision screenings to preschool children and adults in a variety of settings, as well as provide supportive services for blind and visually impaired individuals.

Lastly, the United in Recovery initiative was granted $30,000.00, which includes programs like Hiding in Plain Sight, a simulation of a high school student’s bedroom for parents to understand where students could be hiding drugs. Those dollars also represent a part-time Stigma Reduction and Education Specialist that has been working since January to educate the public and reduce stigma to increase the chance of success for members of our community in recovery.

“We are so grateful for our donors.” said United Way Board Chair Barbara Warunek, “Their generosity allows us to fund these important programs that are meeting the identified needs and making a difference within our communities.”

Funding for the programs represents only a portion of the total money given out by United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties. In addition to grant funding, the organization processes over $103,500 in designated funds, which are distributed and accounted for separately from the grant program.

For the full list of agencies awarded with Impact Grant Awards for 2019, please visit

About United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties: The United Way was organized in Columbia County in 1955 with a mission that still stands today: "to increase the organized capacity of people to care for another." The organization has worked to impact the human care needs that matter most to the people in our service area. In 2016, a merge with United Way of Montour County was completed, creating the new United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties. Today, we collaborate with volunteer organizations, community leaders and local businesses to develop long-term solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges with a focus on Income, Health and Education. For more information, visit our website

Adrienne Mael