United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) is awarding 22 grants totaling $185,000 to 22 member organizations serving Prince George's County.
The funds came through designations to the Prince George's County Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA's annual workplace giving campaign. Each of the grants directly addresses United Way NCA's focus areas of education, health and financial stability.
In total, nearly $1.65 million was raised through Community Impact Funds in United Way NCA's eight regions thanks to the support of employees from over 800 workplaces with more than 3,000 locations throughout the Washington region.
Specifically, the Prince George's County grantees are: Adoptions Together, American Red Cross, Arts for the Aging, Ayuda, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, Campfire, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Class Acts Arts, Community Support Systems Inc., End Time Harvest Ministries, Inc., FAME - Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education, Inc., Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County, Inc., Forestville Pregnancy Center, House of Ruth Maryland, Inc., KEYS for the Homeless Foundation, Inc., Latin American Youth Center, Lt. Joseph Kennedy Institute, Inc., Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Neediest Kids, Prince George's Child Resource Center, SHARE Food Network, and St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth, and Families.
The community impact grant awarded to FAME - Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education will support the Music Technology Program which "provides middle and high school students living and attending school in underserved areas with a comprehensive modern, technology-rich, creativity-based learning environment that they otherwise would not have access to," said A. Toni Lewis, FAME founder and executive director. "Classes are hosted in a university setting – which encourages students to 'see' the possibilities of getting a higher education – and are taught by college professors and professional musicians with state-of-the-art software, equipment and materials found in professional recording studios."
At the end of the program students receive a Certificate in Music Technology which enables them to apply for internships, advance placement in school, and jobs in music studios and stores.
The grant awarded to End Time Harvest Ministries will be used to help fund the Wellness Ambassadors FIT 4 Success program, a health advocacy program where students learn in non-traditional academic ways how to make healthy eating and active living choices for themselves and how to teach their families and others in their community to do the same.
"Thanks to this grant, we can enroll 67 students in our Youth Wellness Leadership Institute," said Rev. Gail Addison, president, End Time Harvest Ministries. "As part of their wellness ambassador training, the students' experiential learning activities include visiting a local urban farm to learn about growing organic foods, learning about local fish and plant life, and working as a team to develop recommendations to improve the health and safety of their community."
Each year, United Way NCA solicits funding proposals from its member nonprofit organizations for specific programs and work in these communities. This year, Prince George's County member organizations submitted 79 proposals totaling $1,543,500. Funding decisions are made by a volunteer, citizen-led task force that works together with area nonprofits, governments, and business leaders to determine where there are gaps in services and where the funds will do the most good.
Mary Dade, President/CEO of Personal Finance Solutions, LLC, served on the Prince George's Community Impact grants selection committee as the team leader for the financial stability focus area.
"This was a great way for me to be involved with health, education and financial stability efforts, as all three are very important to economic development in the county and there is a slice of our population who require services beyond what the government is able to provide," said Dade. "United Way NCA is one funding source that does more than provide funding. I was impressed with the length and breadth of the help provided to the nonprofits including grant writing boot camps and other development and capacity building help."
"The generous contributions from the Prince George's County community, the teamwork of the selection committee volunteers, and the localized, collective power of the Community Impact Fund showcase what Living United is all about," said Bill Hanbury, President and CEO, United Way NCA.