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United Way announces $7.9 million in targeted community grants


June 18, 2013

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.

“These investments are the result of a rigorous, 12 month volunteer-driven process addressing immediate community needs through programs that have a proven track record of achieving desired outcomes,” said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest will receive $45,000 for their Financial and Family Management program in which the Lake Stevens Family Center and Familias Unidas will provide financial education to people who are rurally, linguistically and culturally isolated and who are underserved or underbanked (meaning they are not taking full advantage of traditional banking systems).

Sherwood Community Services’ ExCEL program, which provides early intervention services for children who may have developmental delays or disabilities, will receive $63,000. Their Career Connection Client Services program, which covers customized employment services for people with disabilities will receive $21,000 and their TechSTEP program which provides short-term support for assistive technology and therapy services for people with disabilities will receive $15,000.

Together, these four programs will receive $144,000 over the next three years.

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 member 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.”

Karen 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. (Members of the councils who work for nonprofits were not eligible to participate in the review process.)

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.

The funded programs align with the priorities identified by each council. These priorities included programs that focused on early learning, after school programs, foster care, family skill building and support; affordable housing, emergency services, health gaps for the uninsured and underinsured, career education, job and life skills training; creating an aging-friendly community, improving access to services and connections to community based centers, reducing isolation due to disability, transportation or language, and reducing crime and offering support to victims of crime.

A complete list of funded programs is available on United Way’s website at

United Way is a community impact organization serving Snohomish County for more than 70 years. In addition to funding 107 programs through 40 agencies with a special focus on local health and human services, United Way of Snohomish County supports a number of initiatives focusing on early learning and education, financial stability for families, a youth program, North Sound 211 and an emerging initiative in survival English.

To find out more about United Way of Snohomish County, including how you can find help, how to volunteer and how United Way serves our community, please visit their website at


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