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United Way invested nearly $7 million in the last year to create change in the Midlands

Columbia, SC (Sept. 6, 2022) – United Way of the Midlands invested almost $7 million in funding to community organizations over the past year, including more than $2 million in grants for its 2022-2023 fiscal year to support basic needs and improve resiliency and long-term self-sufficiency in the Midlands.    

The $2 million in grant funding is in addition to $1.8 million in donor-directed contributions, $1.4 million in funding to United Way’s WellPartners Dental and Eye Clinics, $400,000 to United Way's Midlands Reading Consortium, $400,000 to Resilient Midlands and nearly $1 million in Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) funding. 

This year’s grants will be awarded to 28 programs in Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties and will focus on creating generational change by meeting immediate needs, breaking cycles of crisis and empowering people to build their own path to success.  

“United Way programs impact more than 40,000 lives each year, and we are committed to investing in those programs to create generational change for families throughout the Midlands,” said Sara Fawcett, United Way of the Midlands President and CEO.  

In the building resiliency area, one of the United Way grant recipients, Wings for Kids, will receive a grant investment of $67,500. The WINGS After School program offers social-emotional learning, extracurricular activities, academic support, field trips and mentorship for low-income children at partner schools in Richland, Lexington and Calhoun counties.  

Among this year’s basic needs grants, United Way is investing $98,000 in The Free Medical Clinic, Inc. The clinic provides on-site primary care, specialty care and medications to uninsured residents of the Midlands who do not qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford private insurance. 

To support the community’s basic needs, United Way awarded The Samaritan House of Orangeburg $22,500. The organization provides temporary housing and stabilization services to adult men and women and their dependent children who are experiencing chronic, institutional, or transitional homelessness in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties.  

This year, United Way expanded its funding to also include programs that support its two-generation approach to family stability. An example of this investment includes United Way’s $275,000 grant to the Salvation Army of the Midlands. The two-generation approach provides long-term case management to improve workforce skills and employment plus address any other barriers keeping families from long-term paths to financial stability and independence. Services are also provided to the children in the family to ensure they have strong, resilient foundations.   

“When we invest in these programs, we make our communities stronger,” said Fawcett.  

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