United Way announces over $880,000 of program funding for health and human services

United Way of Eastern Maine announces $880,000 of community funding more than 55 local health and human service programs. This community investment was made possible by the generosity of over 4,300 individuals who designated their donation to United Way’s Community Fund during the 2016 campaign.

That’s a 12% increase over funding from 2015 due to increase in campaign revenue over the past two years. An additional just under $200,000 was earmarked for other local programs or was designated by donors to other United Ways.

United Way continues to be the largest private funder of these programs in Eastern Maine. This year, program funding requests totaled more than $1.8 million, with funding decisions made by 73 volunteers dedicating a combined 880 hours of service during the allocation process.

Community Impact Volunteers employ consistent, standardized methods to evaluate and ultimately fund those programs best positioned to improve educational opportunities and increase access in our community.

“United Way volunteers are asked to evaluate programs based upon community need, measurable outcomes, financial transparency and accountability,” said Ben Haskell, retired academic dean of the New England School of Communication at Husson University, board member and chair of the Community Impact Committee. “Sound stewardship of donor dollars starts with United Way’s commitment to transparency and accountability, without that foundation we cannot build a strong, thriving community.”

United Way mobilizes resources to benefit local programs aligned around education, health, financial stability and basic needs; with every dollar donated to the community fund supporting such programs. These dollars will improve the lives of over 55,000 people in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington counties.

Most notably among the funding decisions was the addition of 15 new funded programs, as well as a significant increase in funding to Washington and Hancock Counties.

United Way is also setting aside $100,000 in a special grant fund. “These funds have been put in place in order to support the Opportunity 2028 initiative,’” said Shirar Patterson, President & CEO of the United Way of Eastern Maine. “Last year we conducted extensive research on community needs throughout our five counties.  We had conversations with donors, community leaders and other stakeholders to discuss this research and to help us identify what issues are most important to people in Eastern Maine.  The top three issues identified were Basic Needs, Substance Abuse, and Early Childhood Development. Each of these issues are now the pillars upon which Opportunity 2028 is built.  We are currently working with the community to set ten year goals and determine what will look different about each of these issues by 2028.  These special grant funds will support strategies, identified by the community, to achieve these goals.  You will be hearing much more about this effort and how to get involved in the coming months.”

For a complete list of program funding, please visit: https://www.unitedwayem.org/what-we-fund/partner-agencies/

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Since 1937, the United Way of Eastern Maine (UWEM) has been mobilizing the caring power of people and communities throughout Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington counties to provide essential services and identify solutions, aimed at the root causes of the community’s most pressing needs, to create lasting change. UWEM is focused on improving Education, Income and Health for all; helping tens of thousands of people access to basic services in times of crisis while engaging hundreds of individuals and organizations to improve our communities and make them stronger.

United Way of Eastern Maine is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Bangor, ME.  For more information on UWEM and our work visit www.unitewayem.org or call us at (207) 941-2800.