United Way of Snohomish County will be investing $7.9 million over three years toward 107 programs in Snohomish County addressing a set of priorities identified by three panels of volunteers.
These targeted investments represent an increase of more than $300,000 over the last three-year cycle.
Two of the programs are local to Marysville. One provides early childhood education and intervention to children living on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, and is managed by Little Red School House. The other program supports the expansion of English language learner classes, organized by YMCA of Snohomish County. The programs will receive $30,000 and $90,000, respectively, from United Way over the next three years.
Village Community Services of Arlington will receive almost $160,000 over three years for three different programs:
The Stillaguamish Senior Center of Arlington will receive $90,000 over three years for their Comprehensive Senior Social Services program.
"These investments are the result of a rigorous, 12-month, volunteer-driven process, addressing immediate community needs through programs that have a proven track record of achieving desired outcomes," said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way.
Volunteers who serve on United Way's Kids Matter, Families Matter and Community Matters Vision Councils spent more than 2,500 hours over the past year in a three-step process that included reviewing community conditions, establishing priority investment areas and evaluating grant applications.
"This was the first time I'd participated in the grant review process," said Karen Madsen, former member of the Everett School Board. "As a donor, I saw firsthand how much time and effort goes into these decisions. Every program, whether or not they were funded last year, was reviewed very closely."
Karen and the 52 other volunteers who reviewed proposals work for a range of Snohomish County-based companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and local government agencies. They represent a broad cross-section of our community.
Members of the councils who work for nonprofits were not eligible to participate in the review process.
The 107 programs will serve people living in 23 communities throughout Snohomish County, from Stanwood and Darrington in the north, Sultan and Gold Bar in the east, and the larger cities along I-5. Volunteers gave careful consideration to vulnerable populations, geographic diversity and programs that address critical service gaps in communities.
The funded programs align with the priorities identified by each council. These priorities included programs that focused on early learning, after school programs, foster care, family skill building and support, as well as affordable housing, emergency services, health gaps for the uninsured and underinsured, career education, and job and life skills training. Among the other priorities were creating an aging-friendly community, improving access to services and connections to community based centers, reducing isolation due to disability, transportation or language, and reducing crime and offering support to victims of crime.
A complete list of funded programs is available on the United Way's website at http://uwsc.org.