“These funds are vital at EDGE Teen Center. We do not receive funding through service contracts or any national organization. And we are able to provide services to local teens through the generous support organizations like United Way. Without this support, there would be gaps in services that are so important for our teens,” said Sara Gabbard, executive director of the center.
Joe Markiewicz, consulting director of the non-profit Fairfield Prevention Coalition, said the nearly $10,000 from United Way is a vital portion of his anti-drug agency’s annual $100,000 budget.
“If we don’t get a little bit of help here and there, and United Way is a big part of that, then we don’t continue forward,” said Markiewicz.
“If we didn’t have it (funding) it would cut some of our billboard campaigns we want to do and it would cut the amount of time we can spend in the schools if we didn’t have that United Way money,” he said.
United Way officials said several special collaborations were awarded $101,000 in funding for their multiple programs supporting all three pillars of education, financial stability, and healthy lives.
These include the Booker T. Washington Community Center Collaboration received $32,000 in funding through the lead agency, Great Miami Valley YMCA, as well as other partners including Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, the City of Hamilton, The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, and Miami University Hamilton and Oxford Campuses.
The funding is all the more important during a global pandemic, said Gabbard.
“We have seen an increase need for academic support as students recover from the challenges of the pandemic. These funds allow us a place, time and the ability to provide academic support to students so they can successful both in high school and as they plan for their futures after graduation.”