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United Way allocates funding to local agencies

The United Way of Kitsap County has completed its Community Investment Grant allocations and began sending out checks to its partner agencies this month.

“Many difficult decisions had to be made this year during the grant-allocation process.” said David Foote, United Way of Kitsap County’s executive director. “After the December 2007 storm, donations almost stopped coming in and with a 24.1 percent increase in grant requests over the request for 2007 the Community Investment Committee, and the board of directors had a very difficult task.”

In addition to the storm, the downturn in the economy, the housing crunch and the rapid rise in the cost of gas, many people had to make difficult choices.

“Many of our partner agencies saw an increase in demand for their services, said Barry Loonam, chairman of the Allocation Committee and United Way board member. “Food banks were especially hard hit as more and more people had to stretch a paycheck further than ever.”

When the campaign started in September, donations were coming in at a rapid pace. It was anticipated that the pledges and designations might reach $2 million. Ultimately, however, amount raised during this campaign was just under what was raised last year.

Dollars allocated to United Way partner agencies were consistent with the Community Assessment completed in early 2007. Access to affordable healthcare was among the greatest needs in the county, and nearly 40 percent of the allocations went to the United Way impact area of promoting health and wellness.

Twenty-seven percent of grants went to children and youth programs, with the remaining funds going towards the impact areas of safe and caring communities and for support of aging and vulnerable populations.

Both impact areas received 12 percent of funding each.

The additional 9 percent of dollars raised during the 2007 Annual Campaign went to United Way direct services and the peninsula’s 211 call center, which is an information and referral telephone service that refers individuals in the community to needed services that are often provided by a United Way partner agency.

Last year, the 211 call center responded to 4,127 calls from Kitsap callers and made 9,611 referrals.

Additional information about the four United Way of Kitsap County impact areas can be found on the agency’s Web site, along with the Community Assessment.

The Web address is www.unitedwaykitsap.org

Who gets it, and how much are they getting?

2008 United Way Community Invest-ment Grants to Partner Agencies include:

• American Red Cross-Brem-erton Service Area, $61,395;

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• Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island, $13,000;

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• Capri Heart & Lung Institute, $50,000;

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• Chief Seattle Council, Boy Scouts of America (Kitsap), $20,822;

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• Elder and Adult Day Services-Bremerton, $16,000;

• Girl Scouts of Western Washington (Kitsap), $20,000;

• Holly Ridge Center, $54,156,

• Hospice of Kitsap County, $71,821;

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• Kitsap Daycare Association, $19,128;

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• Olympic Mountain Rescue, $16,090;

• Peninsula Community Health Services, $59,092;

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• Sound Works Job Center, $3,544;

• South Kitsap Helpline, $42,665;

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• YWCA of Kitsap County, $88,000;

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