2018-07-06 / Business

United Way of the Midlands invests millions to address critical needs

Contributed by Charner Creecy

United Way of the Midlands is investing $3.7 million in grants for its 2018-2019 fiscal year to fight to improve the health, education, and financial stability of everyone in the Midlands. These grants are in addition to $2.3 million in donor-directed funds and $100,000 in flood recovery funding that will be distributed in the coming year.

United Way will award 44 grants in Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Richland counties that focus on early-childhood literacy, ending homelessness, and improving access to health care.

“Last year, United Way programs impacted the lives of more than 30,000 people, and we are proud to continue supporting this important work to ensure that everyone has a safe place to call home, every child is reading on grade level by third grade, and every person has access to affordable, quality health care in the Midlands,” said United Way of the Midlands President and CEO Sara Fawcett. “One issue we intend to focus on much more heavily moving forward, with the help of more than 50 community partners, is youth homelessness.”

The Youth in Transition Initiative focuses on young people, ages 17 to 24, who are homeless due to lack of social and financial support. This includes youth transitioning out of foster care or juvenile or adult justice; runaway youth, unaccompanied youth or others who fall through the cracks in the system. More than 300 missing persons or runaways ages 16 to 22 were identified last year by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

United Way is also committed to continue ongoing flood-recovery work in the Midlands. Since the October 2015 flood, United Way and its partners have helped 253 families return home. United Way invested more than $2.1 million.

“ We are extremely grateful to every single one of our donors, volunteers, and agencies who partnered with us this year,” Fawcett said.

To learn more about United Way of the Midlands and its impact, visit uway.org.

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