MARION COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- United Way of Marion and Taylor County provides funding for local non-profits, and after exceeding their campaign goal of $500,000, they now begin the competitive grant process.
"Those who are interested are agencies that have been with us for years and some are new," Emily Swain, the community impact director for United Way said. "They do have to apply every year, and we allocate the money that was raised through a very rigorous process," she said.
Any program that is selected to receive the grant has to support health, education or financial stability, as this is part of United Way's mission.
This rigorous process can potentially affect how non-profits in the area run for the year.
The Disability Action Center (DAC) in Fairmont is a inclusive home for people with disabilities. They have been receiving funds from United Way for years. The executive director, Julie Sole says it would be hard to provide services to those in need without the funding.
"The United Way of Marion and Taylor County is our largest funder," Sole said.
"We wouldn't be able to provide our clients and our families with not only these programs, but this center, and what they consider their home and what they consider their safe place, to come and be who they are and learn to be the best they can be," she said.
The challenge for United Way is selecting who to provide for. The organization raised enough to fund over 20 non-profits, but considering the amount of non-profits that are in the two counties, it will be a tough decision.
"We really hone in on those programs and management of organization, impact of programs, the reach of the programs and making sure that they're in our geographical area," Swain said.
In the end Swain said United Way knows how important these organizations, like DAC, are to the community.
"Our funded partners are the ones who are really doing the groundwork," she said.
"They're the ones meeting with clients in person, they're the ones providing food, or working with people to provide utility assistance, educational outreach and job training," Swain said.
"So these agencies that are funded through United Way are the ones who are changing our community."