United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK) focused its grantmaking for 2021-22 on helping working families recover from recession and build more secure financial futures for themselves.
With the United States still rebounding from the pandemic recession, local seasonal employment at its typical summer low, and school out of session, working families in Collier and Monroe Counties face significant challenges. As they try to keep their children safe, seek out new employment, and work to rebuild their household economies, families need help to obtain enough food, remain in their homes, access medical care, and secure affordable childcare so they may return to work. United Way of Collier and the Keys has targeted its 2021 grants to trusted local organizations that provide these vital supports.
Nearly $370,000 will be invested in 16 programs at local nonprofits providing early-childhood education, after school programs, or summer camps for children. With these enhanced educational supports, UWCK is fostering a more prosperous and secure future for these children and our community. Providing safe, enriching childcare, these programs also represent an investment in parents, empowering them to pursue employment and professional opportunities to help their families achieve financial stability.
More than $338,000 will be invested in 19 programs at local nonprofits that offer food, housing, transportation, and emergency utilities assistance. Providing these essentials is the first step in helping to stabilize struggling families so that they can find and secure employment and get back on their feet.
Because unexpected medical expenses and untreated illness can devastate a family’s opportunities, six programs will receive more than $80,000 to ensure children and adults with low incomes can access quality medical care, eye exams, prescriptions, and mental health services.
A grant of $37,500 will help working families when they need civil legal services: protecting them from unscrupulous employers, illegal evictions, and offering them the advice and council they need to successfully launch small businesses.
“We have spent the last three years focusing our funding on programs and services for individuals and families living paycheck-to-paycheck. Thanks to thousands of generous individual donors and local businesses, we continue to provide hardworking families the hand up they need to thrive,” shared Steve Sanderson, President and CEO of United Way of Collier and the Keys.