2020 ANNUAL REPORT

- A Look Back -

OUR PURPOSE

To provide our neighbors with opportunities to thrive!

Live - Improving Lives

Through our programs and partnerships we are helping neighbors meet their basic needs such as safe housing, adequate food, and healthcare. Together, we are providing an opportunity for people to move from uncertainty to stability which includes a steady job, a place to call their own, and a better tomorrow.

WORK - Improving Jobs

At United Way, we work with individuals to create a pathway to financial stability. Our programs equip people with the tools and services needed to thrive in the workplace. With your help, neighbors in our community can reach financial independence securing a successful future for themselves and their families.

WORK - Improving Jobs

At United Way, we work with individuals to create a pathway to financial stability. Our programs equip people with the tools and services needed to thrive in the workplace. With your help, neighbors in our community can reach financial independence securing a successful future for themselves and their families.

LEARN - Improving Futures

Youth thrive when they receive exceptional levels of attention and support. We work with families and community partners to encourage and foster growth and development in children. Together we are creating opportunities for kids to succeed and have a brighter future.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Be Kind

Creating a culture of giving and philanthropy in the Greater Grand Forks Area

Be Generous 

Connecting donors to the needs of the community through an investment of much needed dollars

Be There

Helping businesses and individuals invest their time and talent into the community 

OUR PROGRAMS

NEW Programs Launching in 2020

FAMILIES FIRST

United Way has launched a new program, Families First, to address the growing number of homeless children in the Greater Grand Forks region. Our Families First program connects families with community services and long-term housing solutions while providing on-going support to each family. Together, we are providing families with a safe place to call home.

KIDZ CLOSET

Every child deserves an opportunity to receive an education without the challenge of finding clothes, school supplies, or other items needed to succeed. Our Kidz Closet provides essential everyday items to children in need. United Way accepts in-kind donations of new or gently used clothing, school supplies, and hygiene products. These products are then distributed to children in need right here in our community.

EAST GRAND FORKS BACKPACK PROGRAM

United Way’s East Grand Forks Backpack program is supported by neighbors who believe no child should go hungry over a weekend. Together, we are providing up to six meals for kids who need a bit more help and hope when they’re away from school.

CURRENT PROGRAMS

Covid 19 Image

ONE FUND & EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

Our community has faced many challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. In Response, United Way launched the One Fund. Because of generous donors like you, we raised $150,000 to rapidly deploy resources, services, and dollars to where our neighbors needed it most.Together, we helped families stay healthy and safe in their homes.

As we continue to recover from COVID-19, United Way has transitioned from the One Fund to a year-round emergency assistance program for our neighbors in need.

WHEELS FOR WORK

Many neighbors in our community lack safe and reliable ways to get to school or work. For others, an unexpected car repair can be a financial catastrophe. The Wheels for Work program is fueling opportunities to thrive for individuals and families by helping neighbors travel safely through car repairs, car replacements, and more!

WHEELS FOR WORK

Many neighbors in our community lack safe and reliable ways to get to school or work. For others, an unexpected car repair can be a financial catastrophe. The Wheels for Work program is fueling opportunities to thrive for individuals and families by helping neighbors travel safely through car repairs, car replacements, and more!

WINTER WISHLIST

Each year United Way distributes gifts to over 600 children living in the Greater Grand Forks Community through our Winter Wishlist program. New toys and winter apparel are collected for children of all ages. Warming the hearts and hands of kids in our community!

Program Partners

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

United Way was founded as a collaboration of neighbors. Today, one of the ways we carry out our mission is through our Community Investment program. We provide much needed dollars to special programs that improve the lives of kids, families, and individuals through our Live, Work & Learn initiatives. Together, we are working towards strengthening the greater Grand Forks area for all of our neighbors!

CAR SEATS FOR KIDS

United Way has partnered with Safe Kids Grand Forks to ensure all children are kept safe when traveling in a vehicle. Car Seats for Kids is a collaboration that works to provide families in need with car seats. Together, we are minimizing the risk of injury to children in our community.

Programs Success Stories

Today, one of the ways United Way provides opportunities to thrive is through our Community Investment Program. We give much needed dollars to special programs that improve the lives of kids, families, and individuals through our Live, Work & Learn initiatives. Together, we are working towards strengthening the greater Grand Forks area for all of our neighbors!

Check out how your donation is making a difference in our community.

Meals on Wheels

Anna lives alone in a small rural town in Northern Minnesota and was recently discharged from the hospital after suffering from a bad case of the flu. The discharge planner felt that she could benefit from receiving meals for a couple of weeks, to help her regain her strength and aid in her recovery.  “The LSS Meals have been a real blessing to me.  I can count on getting a really good meal every day with a lot of variety and I don’t have to cook. I know that these meals helped me to heal much quicker, than I would have otherwise.”

Grand Forks Senior Center

Joy is facing a number of issues in caring for her elderly parents. A friend of hers suggested she contact Grand Forks Senior Center for support. 

“I realized quickly that we are not alone in this journey. The Senior Center sent me a list of contractors to help us out with my parent’s house while voicing concerns for all of us as individual family members. I am so appreciative! Dad would have never dreamt of reaching out to the Senior Center. After all, that is for old people!”

YMCA

“The childcare scholarships that the YMCA offer to their families is a huge benefit. Without the scholarships that are provided, it would be difficult for our children to attend this amazing daycare and preschool program. The YMCA offers so many programs and resources to families and members it would be extremely difficult to have to turn away from those experiences and take our children away from them, thankfully we don’t have to.” - A thankful family

THE UNITED WAY Team

Dave Sena

President/CEO

Heather Novak

Vice President of Operations

Carly Tate

Operations Coordinator

Courtney Engel

Community Outreach Coordinator

Carol Svendson

Donor Liaison

Dalton Erickson

Administrative Support Specialist

Board Of Directors

Tony Telken

Board Chair
Lithia Ford Lincoln

Chrissy Brabandt

Vice Chair
Scheels

JOdi Sorum

Secretary
Altru Health System

Cheryl Ramberg

Treasurer
Hugo's Family Market Place

Brandon Baumbach

Campaign Chair
Grand Forks Region EDC

Laura Roth

Board Member at Large 
Rydell Cars

Phyllis Johnson

Past Board Chair
University of North Dakota, Retired 

Trisha Berg

Grand Forks County
Social Services

Terry Brenner

Grand Forks Public Schools

Katie DachtleR

University of North Dakota

Ruann Deschene

Community Contractors

Chris Griffin

Red River Land Company

Brian Huschle

Northland Community &
Technical College

Chris Johnson

Choice Bank

Marty McDonald

Scheels

Greg Rixen

Happy Harry's Bottle Shop

Eric Scheffer

Bremer Bank
“United Way is helping our community grow stronger. As the board chair, I see the long range impact we will make as we focus on our Live, Work and Learn initiatives. As a business leader, I love that so many business people are joining United Way in its efforts to help neighbors have opportunities to thrive."

Tony Telken, Board Chair
Lithia Ford Lincoln of Grand Forks

UpcominG Events

Trike Wars: Showdown at Scheels

Campaign Kick Off • August 27, 2020

Giving Hearts Day

24- Hour Fundraising Event • February 11, 2021

MGM Grand Forks

Casino Night Fundraiser • April 16, 2021

OUR VOLUNTEERS

The United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area was founded as a collaboration of neighbors to develop ways to improve our community. This remains the core value of United Way today. We are a community of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Raising awareness of the needs of our community year-round, United Way helps create a culture of giving and philanthropy by connecting businesses and individuals to volunteer opportunities. Join the cause and check out our volunteer opportunities today!

Special Events

We are always looking for helping hands for special events. Sign up to learn more!

Day of Caring

If you would like to sign up your business or group to complete a community service project, click below!

An Hour of Good

Looking to give back to the community? Only have an hour to spare? Schedule time with United Way today!

Volunteers are a crucial part of the work that we do