United Way announces $210K in grant awards

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

18 Oxford-Lafayette programs will benefit

The United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County Board of Directors has approved the organization’s fiscal year 2023-24 grant awards, with $210,000 awarded to eligible applicants serving the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.

Through investments such as its annual grant awards as well as other worthwhile contributions, the UWOLC advances its mission to improve lives and meet community needs by uniting people and resources.

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The UWOLC will support 18 local programs and the LOU Reads Coalition as part of its FY 2023-24 grant cycle. Recipients will use the awarded funds to implement initiatives in the organization’s four focus areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs.

Our organization provides the means to support several outstanding programs and thousands of Lafayette County residents through a single or recurring donation,” UWOLC Executive Director Kurt Brummett said.

Many local nonprofits, including ours, are experiencing decreased giving and I encourage everyone with the ability to donate to please do so as every contribution to our United Way is an investment in our community that yields incredible returns,” he said.

Due to the level of need, the UWOLC Board of Directors decided to maintain last year’s award amount despite the giving declines the organization has experienced. Brummett said financial assistance is critical as nonprofits respond to the LOU community’s heightened needs.

The UWOLC as well as the numerous agencies we fund depend on the generous support of our community,” Brummett said. “As needs continually grow and the local resources available to address them struggle to keep pace, every donation to our United Way makes a significant impact as we work hand in hand to help our neighbors in need.”

The American Red Cross, CASA of North Mississippi, Doors of Hope Transition Ministries, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, Lovepacks, North Mississippi Kidney Foundation, The Pantry of Oxford and Lafayette County and Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging will receive a total of $86,200 as they provide basic needs and/or promote financial stability to thousands of Lafayette County’s most vulnerable citizens.

In addition, the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, Lafayette County Literacy Council, LOU Reads Coalition and The Leap Frog Program will receive $63,200 to support educational initiatives that range from early childhood education programming that seeks to ensure children read to grade level by the fourth grade to helping adults earn a high school equivalency diploma.

Finally, Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, Natchez Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America, North Mississippi Exchange Family Center and Oxford Community Market will receive $60,600 to support health initiatives that will aid abuse victims, offer opportunities for economically-disadvantaged children and youth, assist teen mothers and reduce local food insecurity.

Volunteers from the LOU community lead the UWOLC’s community investment process by rendering all reviews, recommendations and decisions. The multi-step process aims to ensure each grant recipient will produce positive outcomes throughout Oxford and Lafayette County as the agencies manage the needs of local residents. Donors can also designate their gifts and the funds will be applied to the identified agency’s grant award or the specified focus area.

Our advisory and finance committee members along with our entire board have the unenviable task of addressing our community’s growing and evolving needs with a comparatively limited amount of funding,” Brummett said. “I appreciate the dedication exhibited by everyone involved with our community investment process as well as our applicants and incredible supporters as we all partner to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Lafayette County residents.”

The UWOLC collaborates with its grant recipients as well as numerous other entities and individuals to improve health, advance education, promote financial stability and meet basic needs within Oxford and Lafayette County. To learn more about the organization and its impact, visit uwoxfordms.org.