Southeast Missouri…
Many nonprofits and public schools throughout Southeast Missouri began 2019 with an unexpected windfall. United Way of Southeast Missouri surprised many of their network partners with unanticipated ‘extra’ funding.


United Way allocates funds to a network of partners that return annual Outcomes reports on each program United Way supports. United Way’s Community Investment Committee of thirteen volunteers reviews funding requests and Outcomes reports, determining the organizations that are funded and the amount each program receives. This year several partners reported changes in their programs that resulted in previously allocated funds being unspent.

According to Elizabeth Shelton, Executive Director of United Way of Southeast Missouri, the Community Investment Committee spent many hours discussing where to invest these funds to provide the greatest impact. One guiding factor was the answer partners provided on the Outcomes report when asked how their program could benefit from an additional $1,000-5,000 in funding.

Shelton explains, “We had no idea when we asked that question we would actually find ourselves in this wonderful position! Many of our partners listed very worthwhile needs, and the committee genuinely struggled to determine the best use of these funds. Ultimately, these unexpected funds were divided between helping with basic needs and investing in programs that move people from being in need in the first place.” 

Partners in the United Way network that benefited from additional funds include the A.P.P.L.E Project, Voices for Children, Safe House for Women, food pantries in Bollinger and Scott Counties, the Salvation Army’s Meals with Friends lunch program, Cape Central Middle School ICU Tutoring Program, Educare Programs and Child Development Associate (CDA) Preparatory Classes at Southeast Missouri State University, Hoover Center Adult Day Program, Jackson Senior Center Home Delivered Meals, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri Older Adult Services, Scott City Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and Benevolences, and First Call For Help of Southeast Missouri.

The Community Investment Committee also voted to give funds to The People’s Shelter at St. James A.M.E. Church. Even though the pop-up shelter is not a current UWSEMO partner, the committee chose to support the efforts to house the homeless during extreme weather conditions, especially since no permanent shelter exists in the area. 

Money also went to eleven public schools in United Way’s four-county footprint for Emergency Student Funds. These funds are managed by school nurses and counselors to help students and their families with emergency needs, which can include eyeglasses, new shoes, winter coats, and prescriptions. Funds went to existing Emergency Student Funds in Jackson R2 Schools, Cape Girardeau Public Schools, Scott City and Scott County Schools, Woodland Hills in Bollinger County, and Perry County Schools. New Student Emergency Funds were created in Meadow Heights R2 schools in Bollinger County, Nell Holcomb R4, Oak Ridge R4, Altenburg Public Schools, Delta R5 school district, and Kelso C7.  

United Way of Southeast Missouri commits to a three-year funding cycle for partners in its network. The next opportunity for organizations to apply for grant funding will be this spring. After a stringent application and review process managed by the Community Investment Committee, new partners for the next three-year cycle will be identified prior to July 1, 2019, when the organization begins its 2019 fiscal year.

Organizations interested in applying for funding and individuals willing to help review applications are encouraged to subscribe to United Way’s monthly newsletter and follow their social media pages to receive details when they are distributed. More information about partner allocations and a video of funds being handed out in December are on the organization’s website:

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