United Way of Lancaster County has announced the recipients of its inaugural “Level Up & Launch” grants.
Disclosed over the weekend, the nine grantees were selected by an independent committee from more than 40 applications.
They will share $250,000 in “community impact grants,” as follows:
- Bright Side Opportunities Center ($35,000): “Girls Who Code” computer science curriculum for girls entering grades 10-12.
- Girls on the Run ($15,000): After-school fitness program for girls in grades 3-8.
- Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation | Intermediate Unit 13 ($35,000): New Americans Leadership Academy, providing consulting and mentorship to immigrants and refugees.
- Lancaster Rec ($18,500): Computer lab for e-sports, with an emphasis on STEM development.
- Luthercare ($25,000): Continuation of the “Systems Aligned in Learning” (SAIL) program, which provides early learning resources and consulting to home-based childcare providers.
- Meals on Wheels of Lancaster | Lancaster Downtowners ($15,000): To enhance cooperation between the two nonprofits through cross-training and elimination of duplicate services.
- The Mix at Arbor Place ($25,000): Creation of a Student Media Center for students aged 10 to 17.
- Scaling Walls A Note at a Time (SWAN) ($40,000): Music classes and music camp for children aged 5-18 whose parents are or have been incarcerated.
- Union Community Care ($41,500): Creation of a mobile health unit to provide care in underserved areas.
Through Oct. 31, the organizations are being invited to solicit additional funds from community members. United Way of Lancaster County will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to the amount of the original grant.
Thus, for example, if the Lancaster Rec were to raise another $18,500 on its own, it would receive $18,500 more from United Way in addition to the initial grant, for a total of $55,500.
The initiative thus has the potential to leverage up to $750,000: the initial $250,000, another $250,000 in community donations and $250,000 from United Way matching those donations.
“Learning from the success and excellence of the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Extraordinary Give, we designed United Way’s Level Up and Launch initiative to bring the power of United Way to vetted projects ensuring high levels of equity while giving people choice and expanding people’s dollars with the pre-raised dollar-for-dollar match,” United Way President & CEO Kevin Ressler said in a statement.
The nine selected organizations all focus on one or more of United Way’s priority areas: Health & Wellbeing; Education; and Economic Mobility.
Besides its $18,500 grant, the Lancaster Rec received 15 laptops valued at $10,000, an in-kind donation made to United Way by Irex Contracting Group.
United Way of Lancaster County is planning an in-person event later this summer at which organizations will have a chance to pitch their plans to the public and solicit support.
Donations to the Level Up & Launch initiative are being accepted online at this link.
(Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to add information about the selection process, a link to United Way of Lancaster County’s Level Up & Launch page and links to stories about the individual grantees.)