United Way of LP County distributes $1 million to support communities


United Way press release

The United Way of La Porte County raised just over $1 million in COVID-19 felief funds from local donors and grants since March 2020, and all but $160,000 of that has already been reinvested into community relief efforts. The last remaining amount is dedicated to housing and utility supports, according to Kris Pate, executive director.

“It is our hope that these remaining funds will take us into the summer in our efforts to keep people safely in their homes or apartments,” Pate said.

“This not only helps stabilize people struggling due to COVID repercussions; it also helps landlords who rely on rental income for their livelihood.”

The United Way’s newly appointed board president, Kelly Woloszyn, thanked all those who donated to the effort. “These funds have supported county-wide service providers to stand in the gap for our students and fellow citizens.”

In addition to housing and utility assistance, United Way “has provided COVID relief funding to local schools for additional electronic equipment and hot spots for virtual learners, to child care providers, to youth mental health supports, and to youth programming for virtual students,” Pate said. “Personal protective equipment has been purchased and distributed to service providers and their clients.”

Food needs are being addressed through grants to local not-for-profits who provide meals, and funds have been given to shelters and food pantries to purchase food items.

Drive-through food giveaways continue to be offered regularly throughout the county because of United Way’s funded partnership with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and Citizens Concerned for the Homeless.

“Sometimes our greatest barrier to fundraising is the misperception that all United Ways are connected financially,” Pate said. “Although we are thankful to be a part of the global United Way network and benefit from the many tools and trainings that affiliation affords us, we want our community to understand that each United Way is a separate not-for-profit managed by a local board of directors with goals and outcome measures reflective of its community.”

Dollars raised in La Porte County stay local “to help us invest in the strength and stability of our communities. We are a transparent organization and welcome the opportunity to inform others about our work,” Pate said.

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