United Way announces $7.9 million in targeted community grants

North County Outlook

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.

Six north Snohomish County programs will receive $370,000 over the next three years.

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.

Four of the programs are based in Arlington. Village Community Services will receive almost $160,000 over three years for three different programs: a career planning and placement services program, a residential services program to help people with developmental disabilities live with dignity and respect in their own homes and a community access program to provide adults with significant disabilities learn essential life and job skills. The Stillaguamish Senior Center will receive $90,000 over three years for their Comprehensive Senior Social Services program.

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 grants review process,” said Karen Madsen, former president 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.”

Madsen 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.

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 Interstate 5. Volunteers gave careful consideration to vulnerable populations, geographic diversity and programs that address critical service gaps in our community.

A complete list of funded programs is available on United Way’s website, uwsc.org.