United Way 2022 Annual Report

Page 1

Building a Bright Future

CONTENTS A Letter to Our Community 2 Our Work 3 Financial Overview 4 Our Impact 5 Bernadette’s Story 6 Our Impact (Continued) 7 Volunteer with United Way 11 Upcoming Events 13 Annual Sponsors 14 Our Team 15 Our Board


A Letter to Our Community As I reflect on the past year, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness and generosity the Greater Grand Forks community has shown to families and children served by the United Way. Compassionate neighbors like you, gave your time, energy, and financial resources to where Grand Forks needed it most; services for families facing homelessness or financial hardships.

Building a Bright Future for children and families is at the heart and soul of the work we are doing here at United Way. Your generosity has allowed us to grow and continue to expand our services. This year we were able to provide over 100,000 meals to 500 kids enrolled in the Backpack Program. The Families First Emergency Shelter program provided 1,584 nights of shelter to homeless families. 558 children received clothing, hygiene products and school supplies through the Kidz Closet. Together, we are making a significant impact on the lives of our neighbors. We are excited for what the next year will bring as we continue to work towards building a community where all children and families thrive. This work would not be possible without the support of our donors, volunteers, and the Greater Grand Forks Community. Thank you for the kindness that is shown to families working with United Way every day. With Gratitude, Heather Novak, Executive Director United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area


The Families First Program ensures parents and children have a safe place to call home. Our staff prioritizes finding stable housing for families experiencing or at risk of becoming Thehomeless.Families First program provides emergency shelter, housing and utility assistance, case management services and connects families Nights of Shelter Provided Housing Assistance Disbursed 1,584 $132,722 Our Impact In November, United Way began renting apartments in the community to serve as emergency shelter units for families with children experiencing homelessness. These apartments provide multiple bedrooms for larger families, a kitchen for home-cooked meals, and a living space for the kids to play or do school work in. These emergency shelter apartments provide a stable environment for the family to reside in until they are able to move into a home of their own. Families Helped 206 PAGE 5

Bernadette’s Story

Together, Bernadette and Brittany filled out applications for housing and food assistance. They worked with her current landlord to allow the family to stay housed there until Bernadette had somewhere else to go. Finally, an apartment within Bernadette’s budget became available.

ernadette began working with United Way’s Families First program in the fall of 2021. She had become the sole provider to three teenage boys overnight after the death of their father. The mother of the boys had preceded the father in death earlier in the children’s lives. With no one else able to care for the boys, Bernadette decided to become a legal guardian and family. Adopting three children created financial strain for the family. Bills began to pile up and Bernadette found herself in a position where she could no longer afford to pay her rent and care for the kids. She was uncertain where she would go if she was evicted from her home; that's when she decided to reach out for help from United Way. “I didn’t know where I was going to go, with these three kids. United Way was the best place to ask for help. If people think that there's nobody out there to help, just ask United Way.”

Bernadette applied for rental assistance and began meeting weekly with her case manager, Brittany, through the Families First program.

United Way helped assist financially with her security deposit and first month’s rent. Bernadette and her three boys have been in their new home for a little over two months. She still works with her case manager through the Families First program to help her stay on track with budgeting, but she is happy to be able to provide a stable home for her three boys. me with allthe difficult times that I've been through. I'm 65 years old and Ithought I wouldn't beable to do this, but I'm doing it.” B


“I appreciate Brittany &United Way with theirTheyservices.helped

United Way’s Backpack Program fights to end childhood hunger in our community. We provide six meals, two snacks and two drinks in students’ backpacks to feed them for the weekend. Our Backpack Program serves students enrolled in the East Grand Forks School District, East Grand Forks Head Start program and the Grand Forks Head Start program. Together, we are ensuring kids in our community are empowered to grow, play and succeed in school. Children Served Weekly PAGE 7 500 Schools Served 5 Meals Served this Year 108,664 “What a blessing it is that United Way came foward and said we’re going to help out.”Sherry Murphy, School Social Worker New Heights Elementary

Every child deserves to receive an education without the challenge of finding clothes, school supplies, or other items they need to succeed. Our Kidz Closet provides essential everyday items to children in need. Served United Way accepts donations of new or used clothing, school supplies, and hygiene products. These products are distributed to children in need in our community. This summer, we took Kidz Closet on the road to serve our neighbors in rural North Dakota. Our Pop Up events allowed families in Emerado, Larimore, Northwood, Park River, Langdon, Cavalier and Walhala to access the Kidz Closet in their home towns. Parents were able to select and take the items their children needed free of charge. In addition to our Pop Up events, we set up a mini Kidz Closet in Emerado at their local food pantry. This partnership allows families in Emerado and neighboring areas to access clothing, hygiene products and school supplies year round.


588 Items Donated 30,478 Items Dispersed 8,338




and hands of


Each year hundreds of children in our community participate in the Winter Wishlist program. United Way collects NEW toys, games, and gift cards for children of all ages. These gifts are given to children who otherwise may not receive presents during the holiday season.

All gifts that are remaining after our distribution are donated to the Grand Forks County Foster Care Program. They are utilized for holiday and birthday gifts for children in the foster care system. we warming the hearts kids our community.



alaeb and his mom Jessica are one of United Way's most generous and committed volunteers. Yearly, Calaeb organizes a bowling tournament, The Toys for Joy Tournament, to collect gifts for kids in need during the holiday season. In 2021, he collected 600 gifts that were dispersed to area nonprofits dedicated to helping families during the holiday season. We are grateful to be a recipient of the Toys for Joy tournament each year.

Winter Wishlist is our favorite United Way because it allows kids of all ages to learn the true meaning of Christmas. It also provides less fortunate kids with Christmas gifts and necessities." We choose to volunteer at United Way because we can make a difference in our community. United Way has a wonderful staff that make you feel welcome and they truly appreciate people like my son and I being there JESSICA KRUMP C

of United Way SPOTLIGHT

Join the Neighbors Helping Neighbors movement and check out our volunteer opportunities: Packing bags of food for the Backpack Program is a great way to get involved and help feed kids in need. You can lend a helping hand by sorting, organizing and helping distribute donations through our Kidz Closet program. We are always looking for helping hands at special events such as Trike Wars, Winter Wishlist and more. Sign up today to join in on the fun! Our Kidz Closet and Backpack Program are always in need of donations. Sign up to host a donation drive collecting food, clothing, or hygiene products today! Are you ready to Live United? Get involved today! Schedule a Drive Kidz Closet Special Events


Volunteer with United Way

United Way helps create a culture of giving by connecting helping hands to the needs of our community.

givegfegf.org/volunteer Backpack Program

of United Way SPOTLIGHT rystal has dedicated over 20 hours of her time to volunteering at United Way since March of this year. She comes on a weekly basis to help distribute Kidz Closet donations, pack bags of food for the Backpack program or to lend a hand a United Way Events. Crystal, a current UND student, is pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. It is through her studies that she began to learn “I choose to volunteer at United Way as it is my passion to help those in need and underserved populations. My goal is to use my education and time at United Way to make a difference in others’ lives and support those in our community. I enjoy being able to help change people’s lives for the better!" - CRYSTAL LUNDMARK C


PAGE 13 Upcoming Events Pack the Backpack Trike Wars Giving Hearts Day August 16-17, 2022 9:00 am - 7:00pm Hugo’s in East Grand Forks or Grand Forks Sam’s Club September 8, 2022 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Scheels Parking Lot February 9, 2023 12:00 am - 11:59 pm Online Event To attend an event visit our website at givegfegf.org/event MGM Grand Forks April 22, 2023 7:00 pm - 12:00 am Ralph Englestad Arena

THANK YOU Our Annual Sponsors are dedicated to helping the Greater Grand Forks Area grow stronger. By becoming an annual sponsor for United Way, you are providing hot meals for kids in need, helping families find a place to call home and so much Annualmore!sponsors receive VIP access to all of United Way’s events this year including Trike Wars, MGM Grand Forks, and recognition as a matching donor for our Giving Hearts Day campaign. PAGE 14

Brittany Marynik, LSW Social Coordinator

Our Team

Novak Executive Director




Kristine Macken Coordinator

Shae Bonifacio Coordinator

Savannah Kelly Coordinator

Social Services


Carly Tate Assistant Director


Our Board BOARD MEMBERSBOARD OFFICERS Brandon Baumbach Cheryl Ramberg INTERIM BOARD CHAIR TREASURER Grand Forks Public School Hugo’s Family Market Place Laura Roth Terry Brenner VICE CHAIR MEMBER AT LARGE Rydell Cars Grand Forks Public School Jodi Sorum Greg Rixen SECRETARY MEMBER AT LARGE Altru Health System, Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop Retired In Memory of Tony Telken PAST BOARD CHAIR November 24, 1965-December 4, 2021 PAGE 16

Providing kids and familiesopportunities to thrive! Follow us on social @UnitedWayGFEGFmedia 701.775.8661 givegfegf.org