United Way Invests Over $3 Million into Indian River County

The United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) announced $1,548,990 in funding for local programs and initiatives this week. Thirty-four agencies will use the funds awarded to implement programs in the Health, Education, and Financial Stability impact areas. The awards run from July 2023 through June 2025 in a two-year cycle.  
“Our funded partners are vital to the health and well-being of Indian River County; these programs are vetted and provide high-quality services to those most in need,” said Caryn Toole, Community Impact Committee Chair and United Way Board Member. “Our Citizen’s Review Panels are comprised of community volunteers who help hold the agencies accountable and provide much-needed feedback to both the agencies and the United Way staff. Everyone who participates in the process is there to ensure we are good stewards of our donor dollars, and that the process works.”
United Way collaborates with local businesses, government, and nonprofits to meet the most pressing social service issues in Indian River County, large and small. From working to solve over-arching needs such as an aging population to keeping children involved in positive, structured youth activities, United Way has a finger on the pulse of the community. In addition to running a community-wide campaign to raise money for critical human services, the United Way of Indian River County organizes a unique Community Investment Process where over 100 volunteers make decisions on grant applications.  
“Catholic Charities’ Samaritan Center has been a funded partner of the United Way of Indian River County since opening our doors in 1992,” said Renee Bireley, Development Manager at the Samaritan Center Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach. “Your support through the years has provided over 700 families a 24-hour safe haven and life essentials with educational programs to ensure financial stability.”
Funds for community partners are raised during United Way of Indian River County’s annual campaign to support three impact areas and generate improved quality of life for our neighbors. Each grant is awarded based on the yearly campaign total, the community goals of UWIRC, and the community’s identified needs.  
UWIRC’s 2023-2025 community goals include:
Three Impact Goal Areas have been identified and prioritized by United Way:
1.    Education – Helping children and youth achieve their potential through:
•     Early Learning – All children are nurtured by caregivers who promote early learning and development to prepare them for kindergarten.  
•     School and Academic Success – All children succeed and achieve in school, and students will continue to stay on track for High School Readiness.  
•     Graduate for Success – Students graduate high school on time, prepared for continuing education, work, and life.  
2.    Financial Stability – Promoting financial stability and independence through:
•     Basic Needs – All people have access to an adequate supply of nutritious food. In addition, all people have access to safe, sustainable housing.
•     Family Sustaining Employment & Workforce Skill Development – All people who want to work have the skills and resources they need to seek, gain, and maintain employment. Lower-income working families and individuals achieve and retain life-sustaining employment.
•     Stabilization/ Manageable Expenses – Individuals have the financial resources and assets to avoid a financial crisis.
3.    Health – Improving people’s health and well-being by:
•     Addressing Healthy Weight, Major Depressive Episodes, Ability to Live Independently, Children’s Oral Health, Child Abuse, Prenatal Care, Children’s Mental Health, Maternal Health, and Childhood Obesity.
To be considered for funding, community partners must submit an application, report measurable outcomes semiannually, and focus on communities or neighborhoods with the greatest need.  
All agencies made presentations during the Citizens Review Process, where volunteer funding panels make recommendations to the UWIRC Board of Directors based on how well the agencies addressed United Way’s funding priorities.  
“Community needs are growing, and the funds to cover these programs need to keep up. We must be proactive about investing in our communities so that everyone can have access to the resources they need to thrive.” said Meredith Egan, Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to all committee members, board members, and members of the community who provide their time and effort to help decide funding allocations. Their commitment to the cause is invaluable, and their contributions are greatly appreciated.”
The United Way of Indian River County Community Investment for 2023-2024 includes support of programs and initiatives in the following categories.  
•     Education: $566,612
•     Health: $569,862
•     Financial Stability: $412,516
Volunteers make all funding decisions in the community and dedicate their time to ensuring donor’s dollars are spent with its citizens in mind, that the community’s main priorities and interests are represented, and that United Way is partnering with effective and goal-driven organizations to build a stronger community.
Funded Partner Agencies  
211 Palm Beach and Treasure Coast
American Red Cross, South Florida Region
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County
Camp Haven, Inc.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Samaritan Center
Childcare Resources of Indian River
Children’s Home Society of Florida, Treasure Coast Region
Crossover Mission
Drug Abuse Treatment Association, Inc.
Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties, Inc.
Gifford Youth Achievement Center, Inc.
Hibiscus Children’s Center, Inc.
Hope for Families Center, Inc.
Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.
Literacy Services of Indian River County, Inc.
Mental Health Association in Indian River County
Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County, Inc.
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Inc.
SafeSpace, Inc.  
Senior Resource Association, Inc.
Senior Collaborative of Indian River County, Inc.  
Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County, Inc.
Suncoast Mental Health Center
The Arc of Indian River County, Inc.
The Learning Alliance, Inc.
Treasure Coast Community Health, Inc.
Treasure Coast Food Bank, Inc.
Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc.
United Against Poverty, Inc.
Veterans Council of Indian River County, Inc.
Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast
Youth Guidance Mentoring Program
Additionally, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, United Way of Indian River County was able to provide an additional $1,511,260 in support to the community through cost savings and federal tax refunds:  
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
•     Refunded Amount- $1,170,700
•     Tax Preparation Cost Savings- $340,560
For more information on United Way’s community impact work and funded partners, please visit website at www.UnitedWayIRC.org. If you would like to learn more about being a funded partner or joining a Citizens Review Panel, please contact Deana Shatley at [email protected] or (772) 567-8900, ext. 114.  
These grants are made possible by the funds raised during the annual campaign by thousands of community investors and corporate partners. United Way is committed to serving as a strategic steward of these community dollars.  
About United Way of Indian River County
United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a strong foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.  

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