United Way is on a mission to make Lancaster County a thriving community for all of its citizens. To achieve this goal, we’ve created Level Up & Launch – a grant program that will invest a total of $500,000 in innovative projects that address service gaps and disparities in the community. By focusing on the four main building blocks of education, economic mobility, health and wellness, and capacity building, we aim to serve those marginalized individuals who are suffering from systemic inequities. Our Level Up & Launch grants provide not only funding for these projects, but ongoing support to the grantees to enable their success.
This year 11 local nonprofits organizations are members of the second cohort of United Way of Lancaster County’s “2023-24 Level Up & Launch” grant program. Level Up & Launch ‘fellows’ are currently in the fundraising phase for their innovative projects, with the matching period ending on October 31st. The funds raised during this phase will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to the amount of their initial grant. United Way has established an online portal for donations, which can be directed towards individual nonprofits or the initiative as a whole.CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO CURRENT FELLOWS
2023-24 Level Up & Launch grant fellows are as follows:
• The Common Wheel ($20,000): Support and expansion of existing programs, including youth apprenticeships and bicycle workshops and “Bikes for All,” which provides bicycles to refugees and low-income adults who face transportation barriers.
• The Edible Classroom ($25,000): Support for establishing school-based community gardens in School District of Lancaster and Columbia Borough School District.
• The Factory Ministries ($19,000): Level up an existing Workforce Advocacy (WA) program, which supports lower-income workers to achieve career success.
• Lancaster County Food Hub ($20,000): Support development of a reentry/reintegration program for clients of the Hub’s overnight and day shelter programs who are exiting mental health treatment, addiction recovery or incarceration.
• Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition ($25,000): Support the expansion of medical and behavioral health clinics and housing services.
• The Literacy Council of Lancaster Lebanon ($5,000): Underwrite production of videos in a variety of languages so students who speak English as a second language can more easily learn technology skills needed to participate in online classes.
• Loft Community Partnership ($30,000): Enable purchase of a refrigerated cargo van to pick up food that would otherwise be discarded and distribute it to households in need.
• Milagro House ($15,000): Support for educational programming, including classroom space rental, purchase of new laptops and hiring an additional part-time teacher.
• The Mix ($30,000): Expansion of after-school programming to support increased enrollment.
• Parish Resource Center ($50,000): Launch of a program that will train volunteers to act as “Accredited Representatives” to represent non-citizens before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department Executive Office for Immigration Review.
• Pennsylvania Furniture Mission ($10,000): Launch of a free-furniture bank to serve residents in southeast and south-central Pennsylvania.