WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER 2020 Campaign Kickoff

The United Way of South Central MA (UWSCM) kicked off its annual appeal campaign via a virtual Zoom event. “Usually we hold a breakfast and invite our workplace campaign managers, corporate partners, member agencies and individual donors to a breakfast event to introduce the new campaign theme and video and to learn more about our programs. But due to Covid-19 restrictions we all have to do things differently this year.” stated UWSCM Executive Director Mary O’Coin. The United Way of Webster & Dudley merged with the United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton in April creating the United Way of South Central Massachusetts. By combining the two regions, resources and programs were combined.  The funds raised in the 2020 We are Stronger Together campaign will support the $435,000 in grants awarded to 28 local non-profit programs through the UWSCM Community Impact Fund. In addition, UWSCM has raised and distributed more than $15,000 in grants to help local food pantries impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, bringing its total recent grant awards and distributions to $450,000.

The UWSCM Community Impact Fund makes grants annually to programs that address the region’s most critical needs in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. The recent round of grants will support a wide variety of programs that provide services including housing and shelter, food and nutrition, early literacy resources, and youth engagement.

“We are honored to support these dedicated and mission-driven organizations, as the need for these critical services has never been greater,” says 2020 Campaign Chairman Jim Croteau. “We look forward to working together to strengthen our community during this unprecedented time.”

Several non-profits have received Community Impact Fund grants for multiple years, enabling them to build long-term partnerships with UWSCM. For example, both the Boys and Girls Club of Webster-Dudley and YMCA of Central MA Tri-Community Family Branch in Southbridge continued to receive funding for their services for families and children experiencing both daily and afterschool childcare needs.

“There is the rich history of support and partnership between the Tri-Community YMCA and the United Way of South Central MA,” says Christina Hadis-Blackwell, Branch Director of YMCA, Tri-Community Family Branch . “From childcare to teen programs, summer camp to family programming, the United Way and the YMCA Tri-Community Family Branch are committed to working together to make our community a place for families to learn, grow and thrive. We look forward to continuing our work together and ensuring the success of the region.”