United Way of Cascade County announced that it will invest $1,099,214 to advance bold goals in education, financial stability and health. 
Thanks to last fall’s campaign, United Way will help 32,266 people in the coming year through the local programs receiving grants alone. And its community impact work – initiatives like Graduation Matters – touches everyone living in Cascade County.
The annual United Way campaign aims to make it easy for people and businesses to build our entire community. Most give through a workplace campaign and deduct small amounts from each paycheck.
“Our generous community continues to step up their support of our efforts,” United Way President Gary Owen said. “Because of their support, United Way is able to bring together community resources to tackle some of our community’s biggest challenges.”
To broaden United Way of Cascade County’s impact in our community, the nonprofit is dedicating $483,385 to community initiatives in the coming year. That includes supporting efforts like Graduation Matters, the Healthy Lives Vibrant Futures initiative and managing the federally funded Retired Senior Volunteer Program. 
Employees can designate their donations to specific nonprofits that are close to their hearts. This year, donors designated $213,807 to 106 nonprofits.
For money that isn’t designated, a volunteer committee decides which programs best advance United Way’s goals of helping children achieve their potential and graduate on time, promoting financial stability and independence and improving people’s health.
A team of 40 volunteers spent hours reviewing written proposals and listening to presentations before allocating $402,022 to fund 28 nonprofit programs.
Many nonprofits, including Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul’s food pantry and Opportunities Inc.’s housing assistance program, had increased needs because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many other nonprofits requesting grants had increased costs as they scrambled to safely offer support to students, seniors and people with disabilities. 
“Each year, our volunteers face the challenge of being able to fund half of what is requested of United Way,” Owen said. “Our hope is to rise to meet that need with this year’s campaign.”
United Way of Cascade County launched its annual fundraising campaign last week, setting a goal of raising $1.22 million this year, which would set a new record.
In addition to the workplace campaign, people may give by sending contributions directly to United Way at PO Box 1343, Great Falls, MT 59403, or donating online at www.uwccmt.org.


Broken down in to United Way’s focus areas of education, income and health, which includes protecting vulnerable populations, here are the 28 programs that will be funded this year:

Education -- $61,080
•    Boys & Girls Club -- $16,250
•    Foster Grandparents -- $7,330
•    GFPS Every Child a Reader program -- $5,000
•    Peace Place -- $13,000
•    Young Parents Education Center -- $19,500

Income -- $101,380
•    Cascade County Law Clinic -- $10,000
•    Family Promise -- $2,000
•    Habitat for Humanity -- $10,000
•    NeighborWorks Great Falls -- $18,000
•    Opportunities, Inc. (housing)-- $33,500
•    St. Vincent de Paul (Vet mentoring, homeless outreach programs) -- $27,880

Health -- $239,562
•    Alliance for Youth (parenting classes, youth recourse center & support for recovering addicts) -- $50,450
•    Big Brother Big Sister -- $1,300
•    Dandelion Foundation – $4,750
•    Eagle Mount -- $5,122
•    Get Fit Great Falls -- $3,140
•    Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home -- $8,750
•    Great Falls Senior Center -- $6,000
•    Juvenile Drug Court -- $7,000
•    Kairos Youth Services -- $20,550
•    Meals on Wheels -- $15,500
•    St. Vincent de Paul food program -- $35,000
•    Toby’s House -- $10,000
•    Veterans’ Treatment Court -- $39,000
•    Voices of Hope (crisis line & 2-1-1 information line) -- $19,000
•    YWCA Mercy Home -- $14,000