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Nonprofit helps thousands with grants, donations

By BY JOHNATHAN SILVER - JSILVER@VICAD.COM
July 3, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.

From left: Dan Easton,Victoria Advocate publisher and Victoria County United Way 2013 campaign chairman, holding a momento for his service, stands with Jennifer Yancey, chairwoman of the Victoria County United Way Board of Directors. The Eastons were presented with Victoria County United Way's Community Spirit Award, which the Victoria Advocate won.

From left: Dan Easton,Victoria Advocate publisher and Victoria County United Way 2013 campaign chairman, holding a momento for his service, stands with Jennifer Yancey, chairwoman of the Victoria County United Way Board of Directors. The Eastons were presented with Victoria County United Way's Community Spirit Award, which the Victoria Advocate won.

Ginny Stafford and her staff at Mid-Coast Family Services kept a family off the street Wednesday, thanks in part to Victoria County United Way's financial support.

Stafford - CEO of the nonprofit that works to eliminate family violence, homelessness and substance abuse - said her agency had depleted resources from the state, and United Way's financial support makes it easier to say yes to people seeking immediate shelter.

"If we only got $1 from them, it means everything," said Stafford, whose agency is getting $105,000 from United Way during the next fiscal year to fund homelessness prevention efforts and sexual assault crisis services.

It's a relief, she said, adding that fundraising is very time-consuming.

"That's time that we're not serving people," Stafford said.

And those people need much attention, she said. Her agency serves people who need immediate housing and refuge from domestic violence, she added.

"For a lot of folks we serve, we're their last chance," she said. "They're at the end of their resources."

Mid-Coast Family Services is one of 17 charities receiving community investment grants from Victoria County United Way next fiscal year. Other charities include Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Victoria Adult Literacy Council.

Community Action Committee of Victoria is one of the newest agencies to receive funding - $4,000 - from United Way. The group delivers meals to seniors living in rural Victoria County.

United Way's grant is covering more than 2,000 meals at $1.55 each, said Clifford Grimes, executive director of Victoria County United Way, who explained via news release that 30 volunteers reviewed grant proposals for about 300 hours collectively.

Also, United Way announced that it raised $945,645.

Dan Easton, United Way's 2013 campaign chairman and publisher of the Victoria Advocate, said it wasn't just United Way or his team who made the difference, noting individuals, large area companies and their employees alike helped.

"Ultimately," he said, "it's the community that stepped up and understood the importance of funding United Way."

Help from the community and United Way can make a huge difference in any community member's life, he added.

"On any given day," Easton said, "anyone can be in need of their resources."

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