08/05/12 — United Way hands out Day of Caring mini-grants

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United Way hands out Day of Caring mini-grants

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 5, 2012 1:50 AM

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Steve Parr, left, executive director of United Way of Wayne County, presents a check for $2,000 to Charlie Ivey, executive director of The Partnership for Children, and Whitney Jansta, the Partnership community services coordinator. The Partnership for Children received two awards from the United Way of Wayne County's mini-grant challenge for having the most fans and online responses to their literacy project for Days of Caring.

United Way of Wayne County's mini-grant challenge drove significant traffic to United Way's revamped volunteering website, volunteerwayne.org.

"It is great that the community has become so engaged. Both non-profits and volunteers have responded well to needs and events," said Catherine LeChot, community engagement director.

The need for volunteers is year-round, Ms. LeChot said, adding that United Way's overall goal is to encourage sustained engagement through volunteering.

"With the Day of Caring taking place Aug. 3, it seemed like having a community challenge to promote volunteering during the month of July was a great idea, to encourage non-profits to promote volunteerism and their event we initiated a mini-grant challenge to help them."

Two mini-grants of $1,000 each were offered up as incentives. One was for having the most online fans and the other for the most responses to its project.

A third mini-grant, for $500, was to be awarded for the agency which came in second in fans.

The Partnership for Children of Wayne County was presented the two $1,000 grants, while Communities in Schools earned the award for coming in second.

The Partnership's Day of Caring event, a literacy day, took place Wednesday.

"The community's response has been commendable," said Whitney Jansta, community services coordinator for the Partnership. "We had over 60 volunteers at 20 child care facilities share the love of reading with our youngest citizens. We support volunteering in our community and are proud to partner with United Way and the Volunteers Wayne website."

The mini-grant money will be used to purchase books for each of the facilities where volunteers read, she added.

Communities in Schools efforts to promote volunteerism ran through July.

"Because of the mini-grant, we will now purchase school supplies for an additional 100 students, students who would not be receiving school supplies had we not received the money," said Selena Bennett, executive director.

For more information on other volunteer opportunities and events of non-profits, visit volunteerwayne.org.