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United Way seeking partner programs

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County (UWOLC) will again invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in local programs that improve health, promote quality education and help individuals and families meet basic needs and achieve financial stability.

UWOLC’s mission is to improve lives and meet community needs by uniting people and resources, advancing the common good for the L-O-U community. Since 1970, UWOLC has raised almost $10 million, not including the 2015 campaign, for which results are still coming in.

“United Way is proud to be able to support the LOU community and to make a difference for so many people who live here, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” said Executive Director Alice Ricks. “This year, applications will be accepted in four priority areas — health, education, financial stability and basic needs. Basic-needs programs will this year be distinguished from the financial stability priority area, given the distinct and important role of safety net services in our community. I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who gave, advocated or volunteered in 2015.”

Applications for 2016-2017 funding are now available on the UWOLC website, www.unitedwayoxfordms.org. Nonprofit organizations and some public entities are eligible to apply. Applicants must submit a Primary Fiscal Agent Pre-Approval Application by Feb. 16 and a Program Funding Application by April 4.

All new applicants and interested returning applicants are encouraged to attend one of two New Applicant Workshops, to be held on March 8 and March 11. Returning applicants are encouraged to attend a Returning Applicant Workshop to be held on March 11. Workshops will provide guidance on how to develop a strong application as well as information on the application review process.

Applications will be reviewed by UWOLC’s four Community Impact Advisory Committees, which include members of the UWOLC Board of Directors and community volunteers. The UWOLC Board of Directors, with almost 30 members, will make funding decisions and awards will be announced by June 1. Awards will fund programs from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

Because UWOLC’s 2015 campaign results are still coming in, the total amount of 2016-2017 funding to be awarded has not yet been determined.