United Way of Drew County will award funding to seven local programs, raising its total community investment to more than $20,000 this year.

United Way’s volunteer board of directors reviewed six grantee awards approved by the organization’s partner United Way Heart of Arkansas; and unanimously approved an additional organization to be funded from surplus grant dollars.

Drew County United Way Board

Mary Whiting, Natasha Lucas, Dawn Marter, Zack Tucker, and Kristi Davis, Campaign Manager for United Way Heart of Arkansas

Since 1998, the United Way of Drew County has invested nearly $400,000 in more than 60 local programs, non-profits, or campaigns. The source of United Way funding is the result of local fundraising by volunteers and Drew County’s currently active 13 corporate campaigns.

The 2014-2015 programs granted through United Way of Drew County include:

CASA of the 10th Judicial District (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an organization that works with the court system to identify abused children and help them transition to foster homes or other caregivers. CASA is the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as officers of the court. In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks among hundreds of current cases. In 2013, Drew County’s CASA program served 82 children.

DeSoto Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (Drew County) is chartered to provide the program of the Boy Scouts of America in 11 south Arkansas counties. Whether it’s through “Scouting for Food” or reading for Scout advancement or getting exposure to vocations and careers through merit badge work and Exploring, the youth of our area are learning about our society and working to better it, while Scouting helps keep them safe and on the right track. They have more than 1,500 members in South Arkansas and over 400 volunteer leaders.

Girls Scouts of America, Diamonds of AR, OK & TX (Drew County) provides the premier leadership program for girls in 79 counties in Arkansas, Oklahoma, & Texas. Girls develop the skills and abilities that will benefit them in the classroom, the pride and service that will benefit their communities and the life skills and confidence that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Holmes Chapel Tutorial & Literacy Program provides students grades K-5 additional localized one-on-one math and literacy tutorial services in the comfort of a community setting.

Miracle League of Southeast Arkansas is a local non-profit whose mission is to provide the opportunity for children with disabilities the chance to participate in league baseball like any other child in Southeast Arkansas. Currently, the organization is planning a $300,000 renovation to McCloy Park’s Ross Field in Monticello, Arkansas to convert the field into a completely handicap accessible baseball field for use with children with disabilities.

Salvation Army is committed to doing the most good with contributions of money, time and resources. In Drew County, the Salvation Army provides utility services including, but not limited to: water, electricity, gas, propane. Services are used for clients pending disconnection of these services only.

Special Olympics (Area 12) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.

United Way is a vast network of volunteers and local charities, the national system includes approximately 1,400 community based Untied Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers. Through effective management of the local volunteer board of directors, United Way of Drew County insures 95% of every dollar raised in Drew County in reinvested in Drew County programs, non-profits, or campaigns.

Applications for United Way of Drew County’s 2015-2016 grant program will be made available to local organizations in late January 2015.
Drew County United Way Board of Directors
Left to right, Chair Mary Whiting, Natasha Lucas, Dawn Marter, Zack Tucker, and Kristi Davis, Campaign Manager for United Way Heart of Arkansas. Not pictured, board member Rowena Copico.