United Way of the Greater Capital Region Announces $575,000 in Grants to 41 Local Community Organizations, Part of $1.6M Community Investment Strategy

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United Way of the Greater Capital Region Announces $575,000 in Grants to 41 Local Community Organizations, Part of $1.6M Community Investment Strategy


Wednesday, March 31, 2021 

Albany, NY – United Way of the Greater Capital Region (UWGCR) recently provided $575,000 in Focused Investment grants to 41 Capital Region community organizations. The Focused Investments, formerly known as Funded Agencies, are part of its updated Respond, Recover, Reimagine, Rebuild Community Impact Agenda, and are direct investments in community organizations whose programs address at least one of the priorities determined in UWGCR’s four focus areas: Early Childhood Success, Youth Success, Health and Well-being and/or Financial Security. 

For 2021, the Focused Investments are one-year “Respond & Recover” grant awards that prioritized funding for organizations and programs that are addressing urgent needs or challenging systemic inequities of those most disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“While COVID-19 has shined a light on disparities within our communities, many of these inequities and challenges are long-existing and deeply entrenched,” said Peter Gannon, President & CEO at United Way of the Greater Capital Region. “At United Way, our goal is to advance community well-being on a generational scale, which means we work to alleviate both the pressing needs of our neighbors and the systemic causes that keep problems in place. The Focused Investment grants as part of our larger $1.6M investment in the Capital Region is a first step in rebuilding communities that allow everyone to achieve their full potential.”

“United Way is a pillar organization for our region, always there to fight for the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities who live in crisis all year long,” said Carm Basile, CEO at CDTA and United Way of the Greater Capital Region Board Chair. “We are proud to announce these impactful investments and are committed to working with our partners to drive equity and social innovation in the Capital Region and beyond.” 

"The social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching, and our community needs remain high. By centering equity and the lived experiences of those who are often systemically excluded, our goal with these investments and the overall investment strategy is to learn, adapt, and scale more effective and just solutions to our community's most deep-rooted challenges." said Rev. Michael-Aaron Poindexter, Community School Coordinator at the City School District of Albany and Vice-Chair of United Way of the Greater Capital Region's Community Impact Investment Committee.

UWGCR’s Focused Investment Grant recipients and the program and/or service the grant is supporting –

  • Albany & Troy Lions Club – Youth Blueberry Orchard, a youth program in nutritional access and food system training.

  • Albany Can Code, Inc. - Virtual Digital Literacy Program, creating a bridge for underserved populations to take their first steps towards careers in technology.
  • Albany Community Action Partnership - Early Start Program, an early childhood education program for Albany families with infants and toddlers. 
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region - youth mentorship program.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area – Positive Sprouts, Junior Staff and Healthy Habits: a community gardening initiative which strives to improve children's habits of health and nutrition through the process of growing food for themselves and others.
  • C.O.C.O.A. House Inc. – after-school mentoring program for Schenectady students in elementary, middle and high school.
  • C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios - art as therapy for youth in Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
  • Capital Roots, Inc. – The Produce Project, a life skills and job readiness program based at Capital Root's urban farm.
  • CAPTAIN Community Human Services, Inc. - Getting Ahead Program, which helps lift people out of poverty, build resources and resiliency, and develop a different future story for themselves and their family on a generational scale. 
  • Catholic Charities Tri-County Services - Sunnyside Child Development Center, a safe and structured education environment for kids 6 weeks to 5 years old that focuses on physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development.
  • CEK RN Consulting, Inc. - Health Empowerment Program, community health workers provide health care navigation for pregnant women and mothers of young children in high need Albany neighborhoods.
  • Community Caregivers, Inc. – food delivery program for seniors and anti-isolation activities. 
  • Eden's Rose Foundation – The Urban Farmers Training Program at Albany Victory Gardens, which is a farm to market, microeconomic and capacity development program for community members in West Hill. 
  • Equinox, Inc. – providing nutritious meals for survivors of domestic violence at Equinox shelter.
  • Frank Chapman Memorial Institute – digital learning center that will provide online and virtual assistance to students and build their digital literacy.
  • Friends of Clermont Inc - Harvesting History, a food and nutrition education program for youth in Columbia and Greene counties.
  • Girls Inc. – after-school programs for girls in Albany and Schenectady Counties.
  • Jewish Family Services NENY – providing Kosher and Halal meal delivery and grab and go meals for seniors.
  • Literacy New York-Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties - Tutoring and instruction in high school equivalency curriculum for adults.
  • Mission Accomplished Transition Services – C.A.R.E Initiative, a career and college preparation program for economically disadvantaged high school seniors transitioning into a college, vocational or gap year programs.
  • Mom Starts Here - coaching and resource navigation program providing support and learning for low-income expectant parents, resource navigation and home diaper delivery.
  • Radix Ecological Sustainability Center – Youth Employment Program, which provides educational after-school employment on agriculture and/or public health projects to high schoolers.
  • Rebuilding Together Saratoga County - home repairs and accessibility modifications, and emergency rental assistance programs to ensure that the low-income homeowners can live independently in safe, warm, healthy and dry homes.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc. – after-school programming.
  • Safe Inc. of Schenectady – Safe House, emergency youth shelter and street outreach, counseling, case management, skills development, and referral services to run away, homeless and sexually-exploited or trafficked youth.
  • Schenectady Community Ministries - emergency food distribution and delivery in winter months and focus on supporting those over 65, disabled and/or quarantined.
  • Schoharie River Center, Inc. – Environmental Study Team Program, which helps a community of youth in Schoharie to learn the skills needed to assess, monitor improve, and protect their local environment.
  • Senior Citizen Center of Saratoga Springs, Inc. – food program for seniors.
  • Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center – educational and workforce development programs.
  • South End Children's Café – increasing access for children and their families to healthy, affordable food and purchasing of food for outdoor cupboards.
  • The Albany Damien Center, Inc. - Smart Meals Program increases the health and well-being of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their dependent family by providing access to nutritious meals and HIV-specific nutrition education and counseling.
  • The Baby Institute – a resource hub for parents so they can promote learning in the earliest years of their children's life.
  • The Children's Museum at Saratoga - education programming focusing on STEM, history and art.
  • The Food Pantries for the Capital District – Food is Medicine Program, which increases healthy food access to neighbors in need. 
  • The RED Bookshelf - The Art of Storytelling Series, an initiative to encourage reading and literacy by incorporating the arts and making reading fun.
  • Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, Inc. - TRIP Credit Builder Program for financial asset building.
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) - access for newly arrived refugees to healthy, affordable food and resource navigation.
  • Watervliet Civic Chest, Inc. (Civic Center) - Food is Fuel Program, a backpack meal distribution program that provides nutritious meals and snacks directly to economically disadvantaged and food insecure children enrolled in the Watervliet City School District (WCSD) for weekends and other breaks when school is not in session.
  • Young Parents United Inc. – Young Parents United program, which offers support, services, advocacy and resource coordination for teen parents and their children to break destructive cycles and open the doors to growth opportunities so that young families can achieve successful outcomes.
  • Youth FX - Upstate Arts2Work Fellowship, a skill building and career path building program in film and digital media production for youth.
  • YWCA Northeastern New York - Early Learning Center program.

More information is available at www.unitedwaygcr.org/focused-investments.


United Way of the Greater Capital Region is an organization that fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.  It unites donors, volunteers, and community organizations in a common mission to strengthen our community and improve social conditions in the Capital Region and beyond. Learn more at www.unitedwaygcr.org or Facebook.com/UnitedWayGCR


Casey Madsen