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Nonprofit agencies awarded grants from United Way

The Rowan County United Way recently awarded Community Initiative Grants to 15 nonprofit agencies.

Established in 1991, these grants direct funding toward the most pressing community issues as identified in the current needs assessment. Due to the lack of funding, the program was suspended for three years.

Additional dollars from last year’s campaign made it possible to bring the grants back.

The gift made on the last day of the campaign by Freightliner Corporation enabled the United Way to allocate more than $103,000 this year. The Wachovia Foundation also contributed to the fund.

Freightliner Plant Manager Bob Pacillas said the company takes pride in making the community a better place to live and work.

“These special grants will provide additional funding that will address Rowan County’s most pressing needs,” he said. “As a member of the corporate community, Freightliner LLC is proud to assist our local United Way in making this happen.”

In choosing from many qualified applications, the selection committee focused on which requests and groups could give the community the most “bang for the buck” with the valuable and limited dollars available.

They looked at the effectiveness in meeting the needs the community identified in the 2006 Rowan County United Way Health and Human Needs Assessment.

Bill Greene, vice president of planning for the United Way and chairman of the Grants Committee, said the Community Initiative Grants are a way to look for new programs and services that might not get started or funded without the available extra dollars.

“The grants are open to all qualified nonprofit groups,” he said “This year, they went to a wide variety of United Way member and nonmember agencies that serve Rowan County.

“The grants committee did its best to cover as many of the areas as possible. In the grants, you will find new and existing programs that address the needs of many age groups, both girls and boys, growing additions to our ethnic mix in Rowan County, literacy, basic health/dental care, drug abuse, health and human services and even a simple hot daily meal for our seniors.

“I’m proud of the hard work and thoughtfulness the grant committee put into allocating this valuable ‘seed’ money. We hope through these programs and services Rowan County United Way will make a difference in our community. & quot;

Connie Antosek, executive director of the Community Care Clinic, expressed appreciation to the United Way for recognizing the need for dental services and responding with a $10,000 Community Initiative Grant. The needs assessment indicated that access to medical and dental care was a primary concern for many county residents.

“With the funding from this grant, dental education classes will be made available for qualified residents,” Antosek said. “These classes will assist in the prevention of complications due to lack of access to dental care, and education on dental care needs.”

Topics to be covered in the classes will include proper dental care, diet and lifestyle and how they can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

“One of our goals is to help patients understand that maintaining a healthy mouth increases the quality of life and decreases time spent in pain due to poor dental health,” she said.

Other agencies receiving grants were: Rowan Homes, Rowan Helping Ministries, Youth Services Bureau, Abundant Living Adult Daycare, Rowan Literacy Council, Easter Seals, the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Partners in Learning, Vocational Opportunities, Rowan Meth Watch, Meals on Wheels and 9Up, a program at Salisbury High School.

The 2006 needs assessment is available online at www.rowanunitedway.org.

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