July 7, 2022
By John Bailey
Every spring the Catawba County Youth Council participates in the United Way Youth Community Investment process.
Through this annual event, the Council votes to fund programs from non-profits or other local public agencies in Catawba County focused on improving the lives of children and youth (ages 0-18).
This year, the Youth Council voted to allocate $10,000 to support five local programs for 2022-23, and the Catawba County United Way approved the Council’s recommendations at its June board meeting.
Anna Grace Patel, this past year's president of the Catawba County Youth Council and 2022 University Christian High School graduate has been a part of this process since she was a freshman.
"It's one of the most exciting things I've gotten to do because all year we talk about how (the Youth Council) can improve our community and then we get to listen to all these organizations who are actively working to do just that, and then we get to fund them," Patel said.
Those programs receiving grants for 2022-23 include:
The Corner Table – Backpack Program: Funds will be used to purchase food supplies to fill Backpack Program food bags that are sent home with students at the end of each week.
Catawba Co. Sheriff’s office – Cadet back-to-school program: Funds support the Cadet Program's back-to-school event in August, purchasing additional school supplies for families who attend.
Fostering Hope Catawba – All Aboard Catawba car seats: Funds will go towards the purchase of special convertible toddler car seats for families in need.
Catawba Co. Cooperative Extension – Juntos 4-H: The program provides a 6-week workshop series focused on support and resources to promote high school graduation and attainment of higher education for Hispanic students. Funds will be used to help provide meals for the family nights, ensuring greater participation.
Children’s Advocacy Protection Center – Chance Facility Dog: Funds will help offset the cost of maintaining the facility dog, Chance, who supports the process of interviewing a child victim and documenting any evidence of child abuse. He provides a source of calm and emotional security for the children.
The Council has participated in the Catawba County United Way Youth Community Investment process for 19 years, working to find agencies in the county who address the health and education needs of youth.
This grant process is supported by both the Catawba County United Way and student fundraising events in local schools.
Youth Council membership applications are available through the guidance departments at the local high schools or by contacting Donna Mull at 828-465-8240 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications from non-profits for the United Way Youth Community Investment process are accepted in early February.
For more information about the Youth Council Allocations contact the Catawba County United Way at 828-327-6851 or visit THIS LINK.