United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties announced Tuesday the disbursement of more than $3.5 million from its 2011 fundraising campaign to local nonprofits starting July 1.
The money comes from the agency's annual fundraising campaign and goes to nonprofits that fit the goals of the Community Solutions initiative -- a regional health and human services plan intended to address the Tri-Cities' most pressing needs.
The communitywide effort began in 2006 with four program priorities -- education, health, safety and self-sufficiency.
The first specific initiative, "Our Babies Can't Wait," launched in January 2009, is designed to prepare newborns for success by the time they're 20 through prenatal education for mothers. The initiative also focuses on nurturing environments and promoting learning opportunities and access to health care.
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A second initiative, "Prepared by 20," was launched in February 2011 with the goal of getting people between the ages of 10 and 20 connected to positive, stabilizing influences that can keep them out of the justice system.
The agency accepts applications from nonprofits for funding for projects that meet the Community Solutions goals. This year's funding announcement is for the first year of a two-year cycle.
About $1.3 million of the money raised is going to 23 agencies awarded money from Community Solutions. Those agencies also will receive a total of about $432,000 from donor designations.
Awards ranged from $13,392 for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho to $164,691 for Grace Clinic's programs providing free health care to low-income, uninsured Tri-Citians.
Other six-figure awards are $135,327 for Senior Life Resources Northwest, which runs the Tri-City Meals on Wheels program; $123,662 for Benton Franklin Head Start for early learning programs; $107,428 for Catholic Family & Child Service for community outreach and a program for seniors; $102,606 for The Chaplaincy; $101,781 for Columbia Industries, which provides job training for people with disabilities; and $100,826 to the Children's Developmental Center for early intervention programs.
United Way donors also can designate which agency their money will support, so nonprofits can receive money even if their application is not approved. Almost $1.2 million is being paid out through donor designations to agencies not on the Community Solutions list.
About $592,000 will go for United Way administration.