United Way of Northwest Georgia creates lasting impact and opportunities for all in Whitfield and Murray counties by focusing on the building blocks of a good life: Education, Basic Needs, and Health.
In addition to our traditional community partner funding through our Community Solutions process, in 2022, United Way invested an additional $40,000 in one-time impact grants. These grants were awarded from our Opportunity Action Fund, meeting our strategic guidelines:
- Education - Get kids ready for kindergarten, reading at grade level by 3rd grade, and graduating on time with skills to be career and life-ready.
- Basic Needs - Reduce the long-term need for food, housing, and utility assistance through life skills education and financial counseling.
- Health - Support prevention services so youth and adults are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.
These additional investments in children, youth, and families improve child well-being and build a stronger community.
With United Way funding, the Dalton Housing Authority purchased classroom supplies for the Gist Place (Beechland Round House) Community Building, in support of The Little Cats - Learning through Play program. Little Cats is a bilingual, two-generation program to arm parents with educational strategies. These strategies show families how playing, reading, and talking with their 3/4-year-old children to teach basic literacy, numeracy, and fine and large motor skills help better prepare them for Pre-K and Kindergarten.
Family Support Council (FSC) wanted to provide HVAC units for some of their neediest clients served by the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. Custodial grandparents often operate on a very limited income and struggle to make ends meet. Thanks to United Way's Opportunity Action Fund, the funding allowed FSC to purchase new units to serve 13 local families in the program, directly impacting their health and well-being. Pictured is Sarah Amspaugh, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program Manager and Tammy, recipient of an HVAC unit.
United Way helped create and fund a new outdoor learning lab for Murray County 4-H. United Way facilitated volunteers, from Huali Floors, USA, to demo an existing deck that was an unusable safety hazard. With United Way funding, Murray County 4-H was able to install a larger concrete pad, picnic tables for outdoor classrooms, and a grill to cook for the 4-H’ers during their monthly meetings and other 4-H activities. United Way is committed to helping our youth succeed and develop leadership skills.
United Way provided funding for the Boys and Girls Club’s new sand volleyball court and the multipurpose court that will be used for pickleball, basketball, and four-square. This new and improved outdoor space will serve Boys and Girls Club kids for years to come. This project will encourage youth to learn new skills, try new sports, and be physically active. With this addition, United Way will make a lasting difference in the lives of young people, their families, and our community. This project is currently being finished!
Whitfield County Dalton Day Care Center needed new rubber mulch for the preschool playground, and United Way provided funding for this project. The rubber mulch will eliminate the need to replace the mulch every six months and completes the Center’s renovation project for the preschool playground. United Way is committed to making safe and fun environments for children to learn and grow.
Each year United Way is proud to sponsor Teen Maze. Teen Maze is an experiential learning event for 10th-grade students from all area high schools in Whitfield and Murray counties. Students experience real-life consequences of randomly selected life choices associated with risky youth behaviors. The Maze is set up similarly to a life-size “Game of Life.” Those who avoid the pitfalls of substance abuse, sexual activity, and drunk or distracted driving travel straight through the maze to graduation. For those who do not, students experience serious consequences to show the impact of risky teen behavior.
Friendship House had its 30th-anniversary celebration on January 27. Shawn Brown came and produced two shows – one for the youngest children and one for the older children. Friendship House currently uses Mr. Brown’s music and movement in all its classrooms and curriculum. The children and staff had so much fun at the shows, and the staff has new and creative ideas to implement in their classrooms. United Way was honored to provide the funding to bring additional enriching programs to the children and families served by Friendship House.
United Way of Northwest Georgia works year-round to fight for the education, basic needs, and health of every person in our local community. To Live Better, we must all Live United. That’s the Power of Community!
Visit ourunitedway.org for more information and how you can be involved.
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