United Way of North Central Massachusetts Awards over $1 Million in Grants to Local Agencies

Grants Distributed to 44 agencies through Community Impact Fund and After School and Out-Of-School Time Program

FITCHBURG, MA: August 16, 2022 — United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) has distributed $1,151,063 in funds to 44 local agencies through two grant programs. The grants will support programs that target pressing community needs and offer after school and out-of-school time activities for children and youth.

Through its Community Impact Fund for 2022-23, UWNCM awarded $599,663 to 30 organizations, funding 40 programs. The Community Impact Fund is a long-standing UWNCM initiative that supports programs that address the region’s highest priorities in the areas of Early Education and Youth Development, Basic Needs and Economic Opportunity/Financial Literacy.

This year’s grants are expected to create positive impacts for nearly 70,000 people, spanning the entire North Central Massachusetts region. Recipients range from Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Devens to the Wendell Clark YMCA in Winchendon. Donna Bulger, Vice President of grant recipient Clear Path for Veterans New England, says she appreciates the grant as well as on-going assistance from UWNCM.

“Clear Path is pleased to have the support of UWNCM, which includes funding that helps us extend the impact we have in the community, serving a population that includes elders, disabled veterans, children and families,” says Bulger. “What has meant the most to us is the spirit of collaboration we have with UWNCM staff. They reach out frequently with opportunities to supplement our materials, partner with other nonprofits and just to check in with us.”

UWNCM also recently distributed $551,400 to 17 agencies through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) After School and Out-of-School Time (ASOST) program. Funds were made available through a $4.5 million grant awarded by DESE to a regional effort of United Ways located in Central, North Central and South-Central Massachusetts with the goal of helping after school and out-of-school time programs rebound from impacts of COVID-19.

Through the program, UWNCM previously distributed $398,800 in funding to 18 local agencies for 2022 spring and summer programs at non-profit organizations, public school systems and towns and municipalities. The latest round funds 2022 school-year programs ranging from camping opportunities for disabled youth to teaching young people about film making and media production.

Kelli Feigley, Founder and Managing Director/Executive Producer of grant recipient Fresh Films, says, “Thanks to this grant, Fresh Films is able to continue helping transform the lives of underserved diverse youth at Fitchburg High School and the Boys and Girls Clubs in Fitchburg and Leominster. This amazing grant funds our weekly after school film program that teaches filmmaking fundamentals as part of our year-round career pathway for training youth to enter the fast-growing and very lucrative media and entertainment industry. Our expanded learning programs are critical while students are still in high school, so they can have equal access to college and career opportunities.”

Speaking about both recent grant distributions, UWNCM President Kory Eng adds, “We appreciate the opportunity to support these critical programs through our Community Impact Fund. We are further appreciative of our expanded partnerships with DESE and Central Massachusetts United Way, which have enabled us to nearly double our investments in community programs when the demand for services is at an all-time high. We thank our volunteers, donors, and community partners for their dedication and look forward to our continued work together to support those most in need.”

United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Pepperell, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.

Community Impact Fund Recipients

Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts
Athol Area YMCA
Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg & Leominster
Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester
Clear Path for Veterans New England
Community Health Connections, Inc.
Gardner Community Action Committee
Ginny’s Helping Hands, Inc.
Girls Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts
Growing Places Garden Project, Inc.
House of Peace & Education, Inc.
L.U.K. Crisis Center, Inc.
Literacy Volunteers of Athol – Orange
Literacy Volunteers of the Montachusett Area
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
Making Opportunities Count, Inc.
Mass 2-1-1
New Vue Communities
North Star Family Services
Our Father’s House
Pathways to Change
Spanish American Center, Inc.
The Arc of Opportunity, Inc.
The Salvation Army of Athol
The Salvation Army of Fitchburg
United Way of North Central Mass – Footsteps2Brilliance
Wendell P. Clark YMCA
YMCA of Central Massachusetts
YWCA of Central Massachusetts

After School and Out-Of-School Time Program

Boy Scouts of America
City of Leominster
Fresh Films
Girl Scouts of Central & Western Mass
Girls On The Run
Growing Places Garden Project
Innovation Learning Center
Just Understand My Potential, Inc.
LUK Crisis Center, Inc.
Mass Audubon Society, Inc.
Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc.
Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation, Inc.
Spanish American Center, Inc.
St. Bernard’s High School
The Shine Initiative, Inc.
Town of Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education
Townsend Recreation Dept.