United Way awards funding to 50 local programs

May 17, 2013 

The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley announced Friday that it will fund 50 programs in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, pumping a total of $5 million into the community.

United Way President Scott Ferguson said the amount is nearly 3 percent more than last year’s investment. The funding was unanimously approved by the agency’s board of directors and is based on the recommendations of 62 community investment and eight financial review volunteers. The programs will be funded through 27 agencies.

“We just can’t say thank you enough for the generosity of the folks that gave the money and the 70-plus people that put the time into making sure it’s well spent,” Ferguson said.

The Family Center of Columbus Inc. will receive the largest allocation of $600,705 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley; Families and Schools Together; Family Counseling of Columbus; and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Georgia and East Alabama. Easter Seals West Georgia Inc. will receive $520,00 for therapeutic care and education. Girls Inc. of Columbus and Phenix-Russell will receive $487,000 for education and health programs. And the Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley will receive $405,500 for character and leadership development, education and career development and health and fitness.

The funding list also includes three new programs: Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry’s Trinity House of Columbus, Open Door Community House’s Circles in Columbus Program and Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services’ Truancy Intervention Program.

“Every year there’s a process for new agencies and programs to apply because needs change every year,” Ferguson said. “And the volunteers this year saw a great value in these programs.”

Chaplain Neil Richardson of the Trinity House of Columbus said he is deeply honored by the allocation. The Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry will receive $23,000 for the program, which is only two and a half years old. It provides shelter for women trying to escape abusive situations. Richardson said some of the women come from jail or treatment programs, and they are allowed to stay at the halfway house until they’re able to find a job, save money and move out.

“The United Way is almost like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” he said. “The reporting, the assessment process, the application process is extremely rigorous. But I, as a member of the community, have always felt comfortable with the money I donate because I know the hoops they make everybody go through to verify the money is actually getting to the people that need it.”

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