United Way urges nonprofits to apply for grants
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - As the pandemic drags on into the fall, nonprofits are finding their resources strained and the United Way of South Central Nebraska wants to help.
United Way teamed up with the Hastings Community Foundation to provide grants for area nonprofits. Together they raised over $150,000 in the spring and they still have about $50,000 to give away.
They understand with the recent spike in COVID cases and the pandemic having lasting effects, there has been a high demand for services.
“In addition to that at the same time that they have reduced revenue they also have a higher demand for their services,” said Jodi Graves, Executive Director of United Way for South Central Nebraska. “So that’s kind of like a double whammy for nonprofits in our area. That’s why we think it’s so important to kind of get the word out about these different supports that are out there.”
Nonprofits in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties can apply. The focus for the grants will be for those who are helping people with basic needs such as food and shelter.
“In the last month or so, specifically the last couple weeks, the need has gone way up,” Graves said. “Traditionally if you would have a need for utility assistance for example there are multiple organizations in town you can contact.”
Normally someone requesting rent assistance can get help right away but with the high demand it is taking weeks. They are also seeing an increased need in other areas as well.
“Some of those social issues that we as a community struggle with even before a pandemic, things like substance abuse. We are suddenly seeing an increase in those as well as spousal abuse and sexual assault type things,” Graves said.
If there is a continued need, United Way will consider having future fundraisers since many nonprofits have had to cancel their events that bring in most of their money for the year. They have just kicked off their annual campaign that helps their other educational programs and agencies.
The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce is promoting grants that can support small businesses through the state cares act. There is about $130 million to be awarded in grants statewide. If a business did not get awarded funds in the first wave in may they could be eligible this time around. If someone isn’t sure if they qualify the chamber suggests reaching out to them or simply applying.
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