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United Way announces new funding partners and programs


United Way of
Southeast Missouri announced its new funding partners on July 30, increasing
its number of partners and programs from its previous three-year funding cycle.
For the 2019-2022 funding cycle, the organization will help fund 38 programs
from 27 different partners. The last cycle included funding for 28 programs
from 24 different partners.


Executive
Director Elizabeth Shelton said UWSEMO received more than 50 grant applications
for the new funding cycle, with requests for funding doubling the revenue
UWSEMO is able to invest. She said around 70 volunteers were needed to review
the applications and eventually make some “really hard decisions” on which
programs to financially support.

Each
funded program assists those in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Perry and northern
Scott counties in education, health or helping individuals become and maintain
financial independence.

Shelton
said they were able to fund all previous UW-SEMO partners who requested funding
this cycle, as well as add 10 new partners, by slightly decreasing funding for
educational programs to increase funding for health and financial programs.

She
said the organization previously devoted more money to United Way’s education
focus in an effort to work with community partners to improve the graduation
rate at Central High School in Cape Girardeau. In less than 10 years, the
graduation rate has increased more than 20 percent and it now is on par with
the rest of the state at nearly 90 percent.

“United
Way has a long history of giving help and hope,” Shelton said. “Many of the
programs we support help people in dire situations, but the real power of the
United Way network occurs when this collective group of partners tackles the
issues that create the need in the first place.”

One
of the new funding partners, Hope for One More, will receive funding from
United Way to fund the emergency foster home, Hope Children’s Home in Jackson.

Crissy
Mayberry, executive director for Hope for One More, said “When a child is taken
into foster care, it is the most traumatic thing that they have ever been
through in their entire life.”

The
Hope Children’s Home recently received a group of siblings age 1 to 16 who were
left on the side of the road in a U-Haul. May-berry said they were able to
provide a place for the siblings not to be separated and give them some
stability before their transition to long-term placement with a family member.

She
said the organization houses about 60 children a year, and also provides
support for other foster homes.

Shelton
held back tears when speaking about how all of UWSEMO’s partners know what it
feels like to provide a success story for those they serve, but also know the
heartache when you have to turn someone away.

“We
live in a very generous community, but the need here exceeds the need that we
are able to meet,” Shelton said. “There are many families in our region who are
just one crisis away from needing many of these services.”

“It
takes more than a village, it takes more than one agency,” she continued. “It
takes a network of people and partners willing to live united.”

New
partners include Christian Boxing Academy & Learning Center, EPIC Pals –
Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Hope for One More, Meadow Heights
R-II Elementary, Mississippi Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship, New Life Mission
Inn, One City, Oral Health Coalition of the Cape County Health Dept., SEMO
Center for Speech & Hearing and the Tiger Lilies program at Central Middle
School.


Returning partners include 4-H Bollinger County, American
Red Cross, A.P.P.L.E. Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters and its program ABC
Today, the Boys & Girls Club of SEMO, Cape Girardeau Public Schools,
Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri, Educare (SEMO), First Call for
Help, the Girl Scouts of MO Heartland, the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boys
Scouts of America, Habitat for Humanity, Jackson Senior Center, Little
Whitewater Baptist Church Food Pantry, Lutheran Family and Children Services,
Read to Succeed, SADI (Semo Alliance for Disability Independence), the Safe
House for Women, the Scott City Ministerial Alliance, The Salvation Army and
Voices for Children–CASA.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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