‘Worcester Together’ Announces $1 Million in Reimagining Phase Funding

WORCESTER, MA – The Worcester Together fund recently announced $1 million in Reimagining Grants to six local nonprofits. A joint effort between the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, and in close partnership with the City of Worcester, Worcester Together has provided over $10.6 million in the last year to Central Massachusetts nonprofits working to help families facing issues such as lost income, unstable housing, food insecurity, and more. The Reimagining Grants are the Fund’s final phase of grant making.


“Worcester Together’s Reimagining grants were designed to encourage local leaders to step back from the immediate consequences of a social issue and address the root causes. The scale of these grants, at over $100,000 each, will position organizations to make lasting and fundamental changes,” said GWCF President and CEO Barbara Fields.


“COVID-19 has highlighted many of the community inequities and service gaps we have known existed for a long time,” said United Way President and CEO Tim Garvin. “As we approach the one year mark of the pandemic, we envision this last round of funding as helping the region’s non-profits operate at an even more effective level and build an even better future for our community.”


The six organizations were chosen for their unique approach to tackling some of Central Massachusetts’ most critical challenges. These include access to newborn and maternal health care, increasing youth civic engagement, expanding quality educational programming, and addressing food insecurity.


The six organizations and their selected projects are:


Legendary Legacies, Inc.: $125,000

Creating a youth-led civic engagement academy to increase voter registration and turnout among 18-25 year-olds.


Pernet Family Health Service: $150,000

Providing in-home neonatal visits for all Worcester parents.


Regional Environmental Council: $125,000

Improve food security by increasing utilization of federal and state programs designed to help residents purchase local produce.


Together for Kids Coalition: $175,000

Establishing an early childhood care coordinated system.


Worcester Community Action Council: $175,000

Delivery of services in Southbridge and surrounding communities.


Worcester Education Collaborative: $250,000

Improving access to and quality of out-of-school time programs.


“COVID-19 has exacerbated the barriers that many face in accessing services and stabilizing benefits, such as to healthy food, rental assistance and access to good jobs,” said Marybeth Campbell of Worcester Community Action Council. “With our Reimagining Grant from Worcester Together, we will help more residents break the cycle of poverty by providing a place-based model for coordinated care, connecting all of the providers, leveraging resources, referrals and interventions in order to achieve a better result for everyone.”


“Worcester has long been plagued by disparities and inadequacies in our K-12 public education system,” said Jennifer Davis Carey of Worcester Education Collaborative. “Our Reimagining Grant will make it possible to ensure afterschool and out-of-school programs are widely accessible and of the highest quality for all.”


“In the past year, young people used their voices to speak out for social change in record numbers, yet less than five hundred 18-25-year-olds in Worcester voted in the 2019 Municipal election,” said Ron Waddell of Legendary Legacies. We know that the greatest impact on the political process happens at the local level, so with our Reimagining Grant, we will establish a youth-led Civic Engagement Academy. We know that peer-designed programming and activities are key to boosting interest and engagement in the political process.”


About the Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF) is central Massachusetts’ leading community foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life in the region by connecting donors to high impact nonprofits and community partners. The Foundation employs its expertise and resources to address the region’s most urgent needs. Since 1975, GWCF has worked with donors to build a $179 million endowment and each year awards more than $7 million in grants and scholarships to help build a stronger and more vibrant region.  For more information, please visit www.greaterworcester.org

About the United Way of Central Massachusetts

Every day, The United Way of Central Massachusetts works to improve the community and break the cycle of poverty. Our donors and supporters contribute $5 million each year, which gets invested into programs and initiatives with a proven track record of results. Our programs are aligned with our strategic goals: Education, Family Stability, and Health and Safety Net. Our entire community benefits when the most vulnerable members of our community find a way out of crisis, children are able to learn, people are healthy, and parents earn enough money to support a stable family. For more information on The United Way of Central Massachusetts programs and how to give, please visit www.unitedwaycm.org

To learn more about the Worcester Together Fund and to support our efforts please click here