United Way awards Community Fund grants totaling $850,000 to more than 35 nonprofit community partners, supporting 50 programs serving residents of Dutchess and Orange counties

After careful deliberation of more than 70 grant applications requesting over $2 million dollars, recommendations for funding made by 200 community grant reviewer volunteers were reviewed by United Way’s Community Impact Committee and approved by the Board of Directors on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

“We are pleased to announce that United Way will support almost two thirds of the applications it received this year and will help fund 50 programs, run by more than 35 nonprofit community partners through $850,000 in grants from the Community Fund,” said Jeannie Montano, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region President and CEO. “In addition, United Way will provide an additional $750,000 in support for programs funded outside of the Community Fund. This means United Way will invest $1.6 million this coming fiscal year to ensure our community is healthier, stronger and safer for all residents.”

“United Way’s mission is to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. We do so with the support of our community through your donations to United Way and the Community Fund,” Montano explained. “Every dollar we receive makes a real difference in someone’s life. Whether it’s helping victims of domestic violence or child abuse, preventing bullying in the schools, providing in-school or after school support and mentoring, helping provide basic necessities including food and shelter in crisis situations or helping area veterans, your support ensures that each of us and our neighbors and friends receive help when it’s needed most.”   

United Way’s grant process is community based. Not only do community members review grants, but the community also helps shape United Way’s overall funding strategy through yearly Community Conversations. This year the focus was on the new veterans initiative, MISSION UNITED, and on barriers to health access in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh. In 2016, conversations were held around early education and in 2015 they focused on health in our region. United Way encourages all community members to attend these conversations as your voice helps determine what is needed most in our community.

“This year we had one of the most competitive grant cycles to date and did have to make some hard choices,” explained United Way Director of Community Impact, Melissa Clark. “The goal for all programs is to eventually become self-sustaining. This is one of the criteria that applications are reviewed and scored on: diversified funding support. I wish to extend my thanks to all the nonprofit organizations that carefully prepared their grant applications, to the 200 community members who served as volunteer grant reviewers and to members of our Community Impact Commitee and Board of Directors for their invaluable guidance and support of our mission.”

Ensuring the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community, United Way will support the following programs in Dutchess and Orange counties with $850,000 in Community Fund grants for the 2018 Fiscal Year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018):

Health Funding of $305,000 in grants will help support 17 programs in two strategic categories:

Health: Nutrition & Physical Activity

·         Hudson Valley Seed’s Elementary School Programs in Dutchess & Orange

·         Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s City FRESH

·         Food Bank of the Hudson Valley’s Food for Dutchess & Orange County Feeding Program

Health: Development of Healthy Relationships & Reduction of At-Risk Behaviors

·         Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County’s One to One Mentoring

·         Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse’s Child Advocacy Center and Personal Safety Program

·         Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County Green Teen Community Gardening Program 

·         Family Services’ Teen Resource Activity Center and Mentors in Violence Prevention Program

·         Girls on the Run Hudson Valley’s Girls on the Run Positive Youth Development Program

·         Grace Smith House’s Healthy Teen Relationships

·         HONORehg’s A Friend’s House

·         Hudson River Housing’s River Haven

·         Mental Health Association of Orange County’s Safe Dates

·         The National Alliance on Mental Illness MidHudson Ending the Silence

·         North East Community Council’s Teen Team Leadership Program

·         Red Hook Community Center’s What’s On Your Mind Afterschool Program

·         Safe Homes of Orange County’s Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program

·         Spark Media’s DROP Studios Afterschool and Summer Program


Education Funding of $249,000 in grants will help support 11 programs in two strategic categories:

Education: Parent / Caregiver Support

·         Astor Services for Children & Families’ Developmental Check-Up

·         Catharine Street Community Center’s Children & Parents Learning Together

·         Grace Smith House’s Parents as Caregivers

·         Mental Health America of Dutchess County’s Your Defiant Child

·         Safe Homes of Orange County’s Nurturing Families Program   

Education: A Community Effort to Learning

·         Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh’s The After School Project

·         Hudson Valley Seed’s Afterschool and Summer Camp Programs at Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh and Newburgh Armory Unity Center

·         Literacy Connections of the Hudson Valley’s Book Buddies

·         Newburgh Armory Unity Center’s Comprehensive Education Programs

·         R.E.A.L. Skills’ S.T.A.R.T. Program

·         Vassar College Urban Education Initiative’s Vassar English Language Learners Outreach Program


Financial Stability will be supported through $266,000 in grants to support 16 programs in three strategic categories:

Financial Stability: Strength Based Financial Education

·         Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan’s Case Management Crisis Intervention Program

·         Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County’s Case Management and Crisis Intervention

·         Cornerstone Family Healthcare’s Healthy Connections

·         Exodus Transitional Community’s Poughkeepsie/Newburgh Re-Entry Workforce Development

·         Grace Smith House’s Meets Unmet Needs

·         Jewish Family Service of Orange County’s Financial Empowerment Program

Financial Stability: Long Term Capacity Building

·         Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County’s Case Management/Crisis Intervention Program

·         Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County’s Dress for Success Dutchess County

·         Dutchess Outreach’s Emergency Assistance and Relief

·         Hudson River Housing’s Follow Through Program and Housing Navigation Program

·         Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Homelessness Prevention and Income Stabilization Services in Dutchess and Orange Counties

·         North East Community Council’s Case Management Services

·         Pawling Resource Center’s Transport to Health and Nutrition

·         Safe Homes of Orange County’s Financial Assistance Program

Financial Stability: Increasing Assets

·         Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition’s Annual Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance Program


Area veterans will be supported through pilot funding of $10,000 in grants supporting two programs in two strategic categories:

Veterans: Legal Assistance

·         Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Veterans & Military Families Advocacy Project for Dutchess County Residents

Veterans: Employment-Related Education and Training

·         Hudson River Housing’s Employment Assistance and Training Station (EATS)


United Way will support key community resources with grants totaling $20,000:

·         Hudson Valley 2-1-1

·         Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles

In addition to providing financial support through grants to its community partners, United Way offers hands-on help, basic necessities and training:

·         United Way serves as a volunteer gateway with hundreds of volunteer opportunities posted on the online portal volunteer.uwdor.org.Through focused Days of Caring, United Way helps provide tens of thousands of hours of hands-on volunteer service to community partners. Close to 100 volunteers will be helping 13 community partners this June during United Way’s Day of Action (see: https://www.uwdor.org/news/dayofaction2017).

·         Through quarterly Days of Sharing as well as targeted donation drives, United Way helps provide basic necessities at no cost to community partners for use by their clients. Last year, more than $100,000 in goods and services were shared with community partners.

·         Twice a year, United Way offers free professional development training for area nonprofit professionals. This month, United Way presents free training in grant writing, “A Grant Writer’s Toolbox,” on June 21st at Marist College that is open to all nonprofit professionals serving Dutchess and Orange counties (see: http://bit.ly/nptraining-grantwriting-0617).

For additional information about United Way, its programs and opportunities, go to www.uwdor.org.

Annual Sponsors

Premier Annual Sponsors: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, M&T Bank, Orange & Rockland, Pratt & WhitneyAnnual Sponsors: IBM, Resorts World, RBT, TD Bank, Ulster Savings