United Way Invests More Than $640,000 into Community

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey announces the allocation of $643,000 in funds raised during the 2011 campaign to local programs within their "Education" and "Income" focus areas.

Developed by United Way, these target areas are determined to have the greatest impact on the community’s most pressing needs. Education provides funding for early-learning, after school programs, mentoring and tutoring. Income focuses on affordable housing, financial literacy and homelessness prevention. Partner agencies receiving funding have successful programs and measurable outcomes that fit within these parameters.

Every two years, a team of volunteers made up of community leaders and local residents review partner agencies requesting funds for programs that address issues in these areas. This year, the volunteers dispersed grants to nineteen local Burlington County programs that include home visitation services, academic tutoring and promoting financial literacy.

One United Way program receiving a grant is Clarifi, a non-profit service to help those in need of financial support. Since 2010, Clarifi has had rent-free office space within the United Way building to help promote financial stability and independence in the Burlington County community. In 2011, they helped more than 650 people in Burlington County through individual counseling. Clarifi, in partnership with United Way, also provides education workshops for local citizens and service providers.

Since its inception in 1966, this non-profit group has helped thousands of families gain control of their finances, reduce debt and achieve financial goals. As a sign of the times, the number of people served by Clarifi has doubled in the last three years.

Stephanie Bittner, Community Outreach and Education Manager for Clarifi stated, "We value our relationships with community partners like the United Way. It allows us to provide individual financial counseling and financial education directly in the community. "

United Way also supports initiatives such as 2-1-1, a 24-hour information hotline for human service needs and volunteer opportunities; and Code Blue, a program that provides shelter to the homeless when the temperature is below freezing.