While United Way of Erie County has been a proud sponsor of National Night Out since 2004, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization made the difficult decision to shift its 2020 mini-grant process from supporting National Night Out events to supporting neighborhood organizations interested in responding to the needs that have been identified in their communities as a result of COVID-19.
To do this, United Way partnered with the Neighborhood Resource Organization (NRO) to launch a Neighborhood Organization mini-grant process that remained aligned with the tenets of National Night Out by supporting the organizations focused on building stronger neighborhoods in Erie County.
A survey issued to previously National Night Out funded neighborhood organizations drove United Way funding priorities for this initiative which were announced in May as the following:
- Community Resources for Basic Needs– providing resources to the community (e.g. food and other basic needs distribution) and/or making the community aware of available resources (e.g. developing & distributing flyers to share local resources and outreach efforts to meet community need. An example includes mapping of available Wi-Fi hotspots in your neighborhood, so residents have access to technology).
- Transportation– providing solutions to assist those who are unable to access transportation. (e.g. providing dedicated neighborhood volunteers honorariums/gas cards for volunteering to get supplies for those unable to due to health, age, lack of transportation, etc.)
- Health Resources– providing assistance to community members who need assistance with supplies or resources due to limited income, age, etc. (e.g. purchasing materials to make masks for community members, using funds to purchase and distribute masks, organize a virtual community health fair with incentives, partner with a local organization to provide summer healthy snacks for members of your community).
United Way is pleased to announce the funding of 19 projects totaling $14,000 in mini-grants.
|Organization Name||Project||Mini-Grant Amount|
|Booker T. Washington Center and Central City Neighborhood Watch Group||Masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.||$1,000.00|
|Diehl Elementary School||Smart Translators||$500.00|
|East Middle School||Mental Health Resources||$500.00|
|Edison Elementary School||Hygiene pantry||$500.00|
|Elk Valley Elementary School||Health Resources||$500.00|
|Glenwood Heights Association||Transportation for neighborhood residents||$500.00|
|Greene Township||Health Resources||$500.00|
|Harding Elementary School||Health Resources||$500.00|
|Iroquois Elementary School||Technology/Earbuds||$500.00|
|McKinley Elementary School||Hygiene pantry||$500.00|
|Multicultural Community Resource Center and Saint Benedict Education Center||Health Resources||$1,000.00|
|Our West Bayfront and various neighborhood partners||Connecting residents to resources/mini parades||$3,000.00|
|Peiffer Buleigh Elementary School||basic needs and health and safety resources||$500.00|
|Perry Elementary School and NWPA Job Connections (PA Career Link)||Perry's Community Fair aims to bring valuable resources to some of our neediest families impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, including information about employment, daycare, welfare benefits and mental health support.||$1,000.00|
|ServErie and Eastside Eagles Neighborhood Watch||Community Resources for Basic Needs and Health Resources||$1,000.00|
|SNOOPS Neighborhood Watch #13||Providing food and basic needs to our neighborhood residents||$500.00|
|Strong Vincent Middle School||Community/Family Recreational Engagement||$500.00|
|Washington Park Neighborhood Group and Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network||Resources for Basic Needs, specifically, hunger and the need for food, such as canned and boxed goods unexpired and in good condition, and long life fresh items. Unopened personal hygiene and paper items will also be accepted.||$500.00|
All projects/initiatives will be required to align with the current CDC recommendations.Planning assistance for United Way’s efforts will be provided by the NRO which is a service agency created to provide resources, support and technical assistance to neighborhood groups throughout Erie County. Services provided by the NRO are available to any neighborhood group that is organized or that wishes to organize and desires to utilize the services. Those groups looking to connect with the NRO are encouraged to contact John Villa, the Neighborhood Resource Organization Outreach Coordinator (814) 572-0755.