Cedar Valley United Way is in the final week of the 2015 campaign. Contributions for the campaign are being accepted through Sunday, January 31.

“Cedar Valley United Way’s impact can be seen all across our community,” said Pam Delagardelle, president/CEO of UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital and co-chair of the 2015 United Way campaign. “United Way has a hand in supporting after-school and child care programs, disaster services, elderly transportation, community meals, help for victims of domestic violence and 2-1-1 Information and Referral services.”

“A strong finish to the campaign would enable United Way to make a bigger impact in the Cedar Valley,” said Tony DiCecco, a community volunteer and co-chair for the 2015 United Way campaign. “The generosity we’ve encountered as we’ve visited with people and organizations is outstanding. It’d be great to see more join in to push us to the end of the campaign.”

Money raised in the 2015 campaign will provide grant funding for programs improving education, income and health in the Cedar Valley. Applications for the 2016-18 grant funding cycle are being accepted unit 2 p.m., Friday, February 12. Three type of funding grants are available – strategic investment grants, emergency & basic needs grants and social innovation grants.

“Our grants have been redefined this year to better align with the outcomes we are working to achieve in this community,” said Sheila Baird, Cedar Valley United Way president. “Our largest investments in the Cedar Valley will continue to be with our strategic investment grants.”

Baird said strategic investment grants focus on education, income and health. Priority will be given to programs that strongly align with United Way’s strategies in these target areas, and that can show strong, measurable outcomes and impact.

“Systematic poverty has been identified as the root cause of most of our community’s ongoing critical issues. When individuals are unable to meet their immediate needs, it becomes difficult to focus on long-term goals such as employment, housing or education,” said Baird. “To help people respond to their immediate needs, we have developed the emergency and basic needs grants.”

To be considered for an emergency and basic needs grant, organizations must provide those facing economic hardship with services and assistance to get back on track and on the road to economic success. These grants will be considered for funding between $10,000 and $75,000 for programs that serve clients living below 200% of the most recent federal poverty guidelines.

In recent years United Way has also had funds set aside for research and development grants. These investments will continue under the umbrella of social innovation grants. These grants are intended as an impact accelerator, which invests money and resources in promising social ventures focused on solutions that address the root causes of systematic poverty through collaborative efforts.

“Tony and I are excited to see how the contributions to the 2015 United Way campaign are invested in our community,” said Delagardelle. “But you can’t help but think, what we could do with another $5, $500 or $5,000? We’d love to see people step up and give before the campaign ends.”

Final results of the 2015 campaign will be announced at the Breakfast of Champions, Thursday, February 25 at Park Place Event Centre, Cedar Falls. Tickets for the Breakfast of Champions are $10 per person or $80 for a table of 8. Reservations can be made online at www.cedarvalleyunitedway.org or by calling 319-235-6211. For more information on this event, visit www.cedarvalleyunitedway.org.

Contributions can be made to Cedar Valley United Way, 425 Cedar St., Suite 300, Waterloo, Iowa 50701, or by giving online at www.cedarvalleyunitedway.org. More information about the grants and applications is available online at www.cedarvalleyunitedway.org.