United Way of Lebanon County Announces Investments Aimed at Building a Stronger Future for Lebanon County

Today, United Way of Lebanon County announced that it has awarded $561,500 in grants to support programs and initiatives that are working together to maximize resources and produce measurable results to address long-term, systemic issues in the county. The total community investment is anticipated to exceed $900,000, inclusive of donations raised through United Way’s annual campaign that get designated directly to other nonprofits.

Beginning July 1, 2019, grants will align with the collective impact funding model that was first introduced by United Way in 2015. The grants awarded in the new fiscal year will increase collaboration between community organizations and citizens to address specific needs identified by our community and the United Way of Lebanon County’s 2017 Needs Assessment. As a result, United Way established the following goals:

  • Ensure that 90% of children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade by 2025.
  • Ensure that 100% of youth are connected to work or school by 2025.
  • Move 7,000 adults to self-sufficiency by 2025.
  • Ensure that our community members in critical situations can stabilize and that their basic needs are met.

United Way is committed to delivering on these goals by supporting programs and initiatives that are collaborating and sharing resources to achieve measurable results and lasting change. On May 16, the United Way Board of Directors unanimously approved funding for the following programs:

  • 2019 Summer Learning Program: The summer learning program within all libraries of the Lebanon County Library system engages children and families in interactive, literacy-based activities to foster a lifelong love of reading in children from birth-ten years old. This program aims to reduce the “summer slide” children experience when school is out of session.
  • Be The One Parenting Program: This parenting course is designed to assist families dealing with trauma by identifying the impact of the trauma, how to overcome it with social supports, and to foster emotional health and build the parent/child relationship.
  • Crisis & Healing Response to Survivors of Sexual Violence: This 24-hour confidential, trauma-informed healing and advocacy service continuum is available to all Lebanon County residents impacted by sexual violence and is working to further enhance their services to better meet the current needs of adults and children within our communities.
  • Critical Help for Critical Moments (CHCM): As the only provider of free civil legal services in Lebanon County, CHCM legal advocates work to stabilize the living situation of county residents who are in need legal help to preserve their housing and protect themselves from domestic violence.
  • Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County Emergency Shelter: The shelter provides a safe space for victims of domestic violence and their children offering trauma-informed care in order empower them to become self-sufficient and regain a life free from violence
  • Early Intervention Program: Early Intervention therapists and teachers offer parents and caregivers much needed support by providing necessary building blocks early in life for a child with a disability or developmental delay that can assist them in achieving greater success upon entering kindergarten.
  • FRESH Start Emergency Shelter and Resource Center: FRESH Start provides help with the basic, immediate needs of homeless families and individuals while also educating and empowering them to be able to confidently provide for themselves.  
  • Halcyon Activity Center: Halcyon provides variety of instructional, social, and recreational activities for those with mental illness to develop life and social skills that allow them to achieve their personal goals and find their place within our communities.
  • Lebanon County Employment Collaborative: This collaborative program offers support services for anyone in Lebanon County age 16+ with disabilities to find and sustain gainful community-based employment to improv their quality of life.
  • Myerstown Community Library Raising A Reading Initiative: In partnership with Jackson Elementary, the Myerstown Community Library will utilize a nationally established family engagement and literacy program to make a measurable increase in early childhood literacy skills.
  • Living Beyond Illness: By providing and ensuring access to a combination of clinical and community-based behavioral health and support services, this partnership program’s goal is to keep adults living in Lebanon County well and enable them to be a contributing member within the community.  
  • Pipelines and Pathways to Success: This collaboration between six organizations focuses on members of our community who are struggling with self-sufficiency through a variety of services offered to support, empower, and create opportunities for them based upon their own unique situations.
  • Palmyra Education & Health Collaborative: This collaboration between Palmyra Public Library, Phoenix Youth Center, and The Caring Cupboard seeks to break the barriers for children ages three through eighth grade to improve academic performance, ensure equal access to educational opportunities, and increase family security.
  • Lebanon YMCA Freer Family Community Youth Center: The Youth Center provides a safe environment for middle and high school youth after school dismissal each day during the academic year and during the summer break. 
  • STEAM Day Camp: STEAM Day Camp is a summer program that engages girls in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math activities to encourage their interest in these key career fields. While the camp is open to all girls ages five through ten in Lebanon County, the Girl Scouts actively reach out to families with low-income backgrounds to ensure they have access to educational opportunities that they may not otherwise have had.

Funding for the United Way Community Schools county-wide initiative has also been approved to begin in the first two schools, Northwest Elementary School and Lebanon Middle School. We recognize that building closer relationships with schools throughout Lebanon County and supporting our students is critical in ensuring we reach our goals, and more importantly, children and families can reach their full potential. While we build these initial community school hubs, we are also funding programs collectively at the same level such as the Myerstown Community Library Raising A Reading Initiative and the Palmyra Education & Health Collaborative that begin to address the needs of our youth throughout Lebanon County. We will continue to build these relationships and partnerships to provide health and social services, youth development, and community engagement services to build our community school model with intent to be scalable and customizable to each community’s individual needs and challenges. 

In addition to funding for these initiatives, United Way seeks to facilitate partnerships and provide educational opportunities to ensure measurable success in reaching our collective goals. We will continue to engage with nonprofits, partners, and our communities as we move forward with collective impact. We are excited about the possibilities that collaboration within Lebanon County will bring to our communities as we build a stronger future for us all.  

For more information about the transition, programs, and agencies we are funding, click here.

Questions? Contact Brooke Smith, CEO.