The United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County (UWOLC) recently announced its fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022 grant recipients, with $210,000 awarded to local programs and initiatives serving the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) community. Through investments such as grant awards and other meaningful contributions, the UWOLC advances its mission to improve lives and meet community needs by uniting people and resources.
The UWOLC will provide support to 20 local programs and the LOU Reads Coalition as part of its FY 2021-2022 grant cycle. Recipients will use the awarded funds to implement programs and initiatives in the UWOLC’s four focus areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs.
“Our organization and the programs as well as coalition work we help fund desperately need the support of our amazing community,” said Kurt Brummett, UWOLC’s Executive Director. “Local needs were growing at an unsettling rate before COVID-19 and the economic impacts associated with the pandemic have only served to increase the existing disparities.”
Brummett said financial support from throughout the LOU community is critical as local needs continue to rise.
“No contribution is too small to make a meaningful difference and our local United Way is proud to provide the means to support several outstanding organizations through a single contribution,” Brummett said. “Each donation we receive is an investment in our community and the returns are immeasurable, especially to the thousands of Lafayette County residents who benefit from the programs and initiatives we help fund.”
The following entities will receive grant awards in conjunction with the UWOLC’s FY 2021-2022 funding cycle:
Health ($62,950): Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, Girl Scouts Heart of the South, Junior Auxiliary of Oxford, North Mississippi Exchange Family Center, Oxford Community Market, Special Olympics Mississippi (Area 4) and Yocona Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Education ($66,550): Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi, Gordon Community & Cultural Center, Inc., Lafayette County Literacy Council, LOU Reads Coalition and The Leap Frog Program
Basic Needs ($71,500): CASA of Lafayette County, Doors of Hope Transition Ministries, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, The Salvation Army and Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging
Financial Stability ($9,000): Doors of Hope Transition Ministries and North Mississippi Kidney Foundation
Advisory committees comprised of local volunteers guide the UWOLC’s annual grant-making process by evaluating applications in the categories of health, education, financial stability and basic needs. Once the advisory committees complete their evaluations, the committee chairs meet in order to determine the recommended award amounts, which are submitted to the UWOLC Board of Directors for its review and approval. The referenced evaluations are accompanied by a fiscal agent review, which is conducted by the organization’s finance committee.
The aforementioned award process is thorough as applicants must demonstrate the positive outcomes of the proposed programs and initiatives as well as the severity of the needs being addressed. All of the volunteers who participate in the process are local residents who give of their time, talents and expertise to ensure the awarded grant funding will have a significant impact within their home community.
“Our committee and board members have the unenviable task of awarding a finite amount of grant funds to address our community’s growing needs,” Brummett said. “The past few years have been challenging as charitable contributions have significantly decreased at the same time needs within our community have substantially increased, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and its far-reaching economic impacts. I greatly appreciate the dedication exhibited by our board and committee members as well as our applicants that make such a tremendous difference.”
The UWOLC partners with its grant recipients as well as numerous other organizations, public entities, businesses, and individuals to make a significant impact within Oxford and Lafayette County. To learn more about the UWOLC or support its mission through a tax-deductible contribution, visit unitedwayoxfordms.org.