PHOENIX (June 24, 2021) – Valley of the Sun United Way announced today it will fund 81 nonprofit organizations and schools with support totaling more than $7.8 million for programs and services that align with the strategies of MC2026, United Way’s new five-year plan for creating Mighty Change in Maricopa County.
In addition, United Way will provide multi-year support to foundational programs that have provided essential services during the pandemic and continue to help families recover such as food banks and pantries, services for those experiencing homelessness, childcare, and programs that help to close the digital divide. Each year, for a period of five years, these foundational programs combined will have the opportunity to receive funds totaling $750,000.
Additional funding in the coming year will be used to support large transformational community projects, and grassroots efforts. The first phase of MC2026 is focused on programs and services in the areas of health, housing and homelessness, and education. In the fall, United Way will request proposals for workforce development programs and services.
Valley of the Sun United Way will bring together these nonprofit organizations and schools, as well as many other corporate, foundation and regional partners to form MC2026 Coalitions aligned to solve Maricopa County’s most pressing issues. Through all of these efforts, United Way will engage donors with opportunities to match and scale its investments to move the needle toward achieving the community’s bold goals.
Over the past year, Valley of the Sun United Way sought input from more than 1,000 community members through three communitywide surveys, 18 virtual town hall sessions and 24 deep-dive focus groups in an unprecedented effort to identify Maricopa County’s most pressing needs. The community-centered planning process led to the four key areas of focus for its new Mighty Change 2026 (MC2026) plan: health, housing and homelessness, education and workforce development. Woven into each of the plan’s strategies is a focus on diversity, equity, access and inclusion.
“United Way belongs to our community, so we listened to our community and developed a plan, MC2026, focused on achieving very bold community goals,” said Carla Vargas Jasa, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way. “We’re excited to bring together and support this group of incredible partners to move the needle and create the mighty change needed so every person in the Valley has the opportunity to succeed.”
A mix of external volunteers and internal United Way staff blind-reviewed more than 150 grant applications. Of the 81 organizations awarded grants, 28 are first-time Valley of the Sun United Way recipient partners.
Eighteen partners join the Health Coalition and receive funding to improve access to food and access to healthcare. They include Waste Not, which works with more than 120 restaurant and grocery partners to put rescued fresh, perishable food, same day, into the hands of 75 partner organizations throughout Maricopa County.
Other partners, such as Helping Families in Need, serve highly diverse individuals in need of access to healthcare. Friendly House, who operates Academia del Pueblo School, will now be able to provide an on-site school nurse for the first time in its 25-year history.
Housing and Homelessness:
A total of 24 partners will join the Housing and Homelessness Coalition. They include the Human Services Campus, which will launch its first-ever coordinated entry program connecting multiple partners to ensure a continuum of care for those experiencing homelessness.
Another partner, Maggie’s Place, provides emergency shelter and basic needs, including prenatal and medical care, for pregnant women experiencing homelessness. The organization’s culturally sensitive programs are provided through five shelters, designed to feel like home. Maggie’s Place also provides transitional housing and supportive services.
Fifty-eight partners will join Valley of the Sun United Way and its diverse Education Coalition of community members, donors and key stakeholders to create impact for local students. These include Arizona’s Children Association, a nonprofit focused on reading, concentration and confidence within early literacy years of birth to age 5.
The Zion Institute, another partner in the MC2026 Coalition, provides the innovative PS-Excellence program to build and strengthen the literacy capacity of early education practitioners in neighborhoods lacking childcare centers. The initiative has shown that one of the lowest opportunity neighborhoods in the Valley can offer one of the highest quality early education experiences.
To view the complete list of new MC2026 nonprofit partners, click here: MC2026 Nonprofit Partners.
About Valley of the Sun United Way
Valley of the Sun United Way envisions a community where every child, family and individual is healthy, has a safe place to live, and has every opportunity to succeed in school, in life and in work. As we work with our community, corporate and nonprofit partners to implement MC2026, our five-year plan for Mighty Change, we will put all of our efforts toward reaching bold goals for Maricopa County in Health, Housing and Homelessness, Education and Workforce Development. We invite you to join us. www.vsuw.org