Mission: Uniting people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities in southwest minnesota.
Programs: Community impact: united way of southwest minnesota is a minnesota nonprofit corporation. It is a local autonomous 501(c)(3) organization working to create lasting changes in people's lives and the communities in lincoln, lyon, murray, yellow medicine and portions of cottonwood, lac qui parle, nobles and redwood counties of minnesota. By partnering with non-profit agencies, schools or local units of government that serve people in this area of the state of minnesota and by targeting grants for specific programs that produce outcomes within the areas of education, income, health, safety & well being, and united against hunger. Annually, the united way of southwest minnesota board of directors determines the overall funding level for community impact grants based upon resources gathered during the preceding fund-raising campaign. Qualifying organizations that serve local people are invited to prepare grant proposals that address strategies within the above listed priority areas. Grant applications undergo review though an organized citizen review process (outlined in part iv, schedule 1, part 1, line 1). Recommendations are then presented to the united way of southwest minnesota board of directors for final review and approval. Approved grants become available july 1 of each year. Grants larger than $2,000 are distributed on a quarterly basis.
internal programs: united way of southwest minnesota focuses on education, income, health, safety & well being, and united against hunger. The united way success by 6 initiative strives to make sure that all children are ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten. Children who start behind, stay behind. Key strategies include sponsorshop of the dolly parton imagination library program which puts quality, age appropriate books into the hands of children (birth - age 5) each month at no cost to their families; preparation and distribution of school readiness kits for all children prior to entering kindergarten; planning and implementation of literacy building and enhancement programs; and preparation and funding of printed newletters that are sent 3x each year to families with children enrolled in imagination libary. Other initiatives examples: annual back-to-school supply drives where united way of southwest minnesota provides staff support, volunteers, publicity, and serves as fiscal agent; and united way staff organize and recruit volunteers for targeted community projects, i. E. Days of action, food collection, volunteer reading efforts; distribution of prescription drug discount cards to pharmacies and places where people who need them will be able to access the cards; annual preparation, printing and distribution of community resource guides, a printed supplement to the united way 211 information and referral service is done by united way of southwest minnesota staff and volunteers. Initiatives are developed or supported when united way of southwest minnesota identifies a gap or a need that is significant enough to take action.
special community projects grant: flexible grants are awarded each year for various purposes. These grants encourage local organizations to try new approaches to solving community issues or to provide community or volunteer education programs. See additional information part iv - schedule i, part i, line 1 - special community projects grant.