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United Way helps fund local agencies

This year the United Way of the Columbia Gorge will allocate funding to 40 local nonprofit programs. More than 60 volunteers raised $155,000 within the Columbia Gorge community which will now be channeled directly to agencies serving Hood River, Klickitat, Sherman, Skamania and Wasco counties.

Many local nonprofit agencies need financial support beyond their own annual fundraising efforts. Organizations such as FISH Food Bank, Helping Hands Against Violence and CASA rely on these extra funds from the United Way, which often means the difference between being able to provide, rather than deny, children and adults the services they desperately need.

“United Way plays a key role in meeting community needs,” stated Becky Bugge from FISH Food Bank. “Through the continued support from United Way, FISH Food Bank has been able to address the problem of food insecurity in approximately 400 families per month. The United Way/FISH Food Bank partnership is a prime example of how our community takes care of those who are less fortunate. FISH Food Bank is proud to be associated with United Way of the Gorge.”

The UWCG is changing thousands of lives throughout the Gorge by funding a diverse group of critical programs. Whether it’s through providing food and lodging for families recently displaced by house fires in Parkdale and The Dalles, delivering warm meals to elderly homebound residents throughout Hood River county or feeding and mentoring local children, the United Way makes a significant impact to help these local programs continue serving people.

“Our local United Way is extraordinary in that it is fueled by local volunteers helping local people,” said Jeff Heater, UWCG board member. “Our process is really about uniting people to make a real difference in our neighbors’ lives.”

Each nonprofit agency that applied for funding was thoroughly screened, interviewed and selected by a committee of Columbia Gorge residents representing the five counties. The 40 selected programs will be honored at the annual United Way Agency Social on July 17 at the Best Western Hood River Inn.

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For information on becoming a volunteer or donating to the United Way of the Columbia Gorge, contact the local office at 541-386-6100 or P.O. Box 2, Hood River, OR 97031; or visit unitedwaycolumbiagorge.org.

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