This post originally appeared in partnership with Bham Now
On January 1, 2021, United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) announced the expansion of its footprint to include Chilton County. Just over one year later, UWCA has made its first allocation of $177,750 to 17 Chilton County agencies. Keep reading for all the details and to find out where the money’s going.
Who UWCA serves
The mission of UWCA is “to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another and to improve their community.”
From its beginning as The Birmingham Community Chest back in 1923, with 31 agencies and a goal of $450K, the UWCA’s “impact has grown to over 80 programs and initiatives in a six county region…with a fundraising impact [of] more than $38M.”
UWCA currently serves people in Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and now Chilton Counties.
Chilton County United Way
Yolanda Fox, Chair of the Chilton County Advisory Council, and I spoke about how UWCA grew to include Chilton County.
Helping in a time of need
UWCA and Chilton County United Way (CCUW) have actually been working together for years.
Then, COVID hit. Although Chilton County had saved money for a rainy day, the local Emergency Assistance Center was about to shut down due to the impact of the pandemic.
UWCA assisted agencies with COVID funds to help with nonprofit sustainability—some agencies in Chilton County were awarded those funds. They awarded additional grants to Butterfly Bridge, the Child Advocacy Center and YMCA of Chilton County.
“Because of COVID, those nonprofits were very active and needed to stay open because schools were out. They helped kids and helped everybody.”—Yolanda Fox
Deciding to join forces
Along the way, Drew Langloh, CEO of the UWCA, came to meet with the folks in Chilton County. While there, he discussed a new relationship where UWCA could continue to help Chilton County offer vital programs in the area.
Even though it’s a new area in UWCA’s footprint, the organization is working closely with local agencies to bring good things to Chilton County.
Which agencies are part of the annual funding process
Chilton County has a four-member Advisory Council, who reviewed and approved the list. They include:
- Carol Fortuna, former Executive Director of CCUW
- Yolanda Fox, former CCUW Board Chair
- + two previous CCUW Board members
Total awards to Chilton County agencies in 2022 equaled $177,750, which includes member agency awards and Chilton County Advisory Council-approved grants.
One-time grants awarded by the Advisory Council
Local organizations can come to the Chair with written information about a need in the community. If the members agree that it’s a worthy cause, the organization can ask for funding—usually a one-time grant.
- Boy Scouts—Tukabatchee Council: $1,000
- CareNet: $2,500
- Chilton County Board of Education: $6,000
- Clanton Library: $2,500
- Jemison Library: $2,500
- Operation: Santa Claus: $2,000
- P.E.E.C.H.—Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County: $1,000
- Westend Neighborhood Watch: $1,000
- TOTAL: $18,500
This second list, according to Shakeitha Tatum, aka “Tatum,” Director of Agency Relations and Allocations, includes nine agencies UWCA is inviting to become partner agencies.
- Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center: $17,500
- Central Alabama Wellness—The Mental Health Board of Chilton and Shelby Counties: $22,500
- Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center: $26,000
- Easter Seals—West Central Alabama: $13,750
- Family Sunshine Center—Montgomery Area Family Violence Program: $14,000
- Kelsey’s Place: $14,000
- Raleigh’s Place: $15,500
- SPAN—Special Programming for Achievement Network: $15,000
- YMCA of Chilton County: $21,000
- TOTAL MEMBER AGENCY FUNDING: $159,250
TOTAL 2022 ALL CHILTON COUNTY AGENCY FUNDING: $177,750
“We’re excited to continue working with these great agencies that provide vital services to Chilton County residents.”—Shakeitha Tatum
Why the merger matters
“When you talk about Birmingham, the city is migrating South. The population of Chilton County is growing, with a lot of people from Shelby and Jefferson County migrating here. We’ve got things going on that are causing Chilton County to grow, including paper mills and the farm center that’s proposed to come here.
As individuals within those companies make their tax-deductible donations, that can be divided among the six counties of the UWCA. We don’t have to get out and ask for a slice of the pie—we want to be part of the whole pie.”—Yolanda Fox
Learn more about United Way’s investment in Chilton County. Donate online to increase United Way’s impact on the challenges facing its residents.