United Way of Greater New Bedford is announcing requests for proposals for two of its funding streams, Community Impact and Summer Fund.

The Community Impact RFP invites nonprofit organizations and public entities to apply for $10,000 – $25,000 for operational support to continue, maintain, or expand already existing high quality programs and services. Programs and services must align with United Way’s impact areas of Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Basic Needs and must be available to residents in United Way of Greater New Bedford’s service area: Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, and Wareham.

Organizations and public entities interested in applying for a Community Impact grant must first submit a Letter of Intent between March 8 – 24, 2019, to United Way of Greater New Bedford.  The Letter of Intent should be submitted electronically at unitedwayofgnb.communityforce.com.  Organizations should describe how their programs align with United Way’s mission and impact areas, the expected outcomes of the program, etc.  For those organizations selected to submit a full application after the letter of intent phase, the full application will open April 1st and proposals are due by April 21, 2019, at unitedwayofgnb.communityforce.com.

The Summer Fund RFP invites nonprofit organizations to apply for up to $5,000 to support summer programming through youth employment and camperships. Programs must operate between June – August 2019, and serve youth in Greater New Bedford. The application opens on March 11 and all applications must be received electronically at unitedwayofgnb.communityforce.com by April 5, 2019.

“Community Impact and Summer Fund grants have impacted many lives in Greater New Bedford,” said Anne Nichelson, VP of Community Impact. “This year we hope to support the high quality work being done in our community to ensure meaningful impact for residents.  We want residents to get what they need to thrive.”  Contact Anne Nichelson with any questions regarding the Community Impact or Summer Fund grants at 508-994-9625 ext. 215.


Do you have an idea for a project that will benefit your neighborhood, school or community? For the 24th year, United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Community Building Mini-Grants Program is offering grants of up to $2,500 to support all-volunteer groups looking to build a stronger community. 

Groups with budgets of $40,000 or less located in Greater New Bedford (Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, New Bedford, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, or Wareham) are eligible to apply. Potential projects must be in one of United Way’s impact areas of health, education, financial stability, or basic needs.

Volunteer groups are encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about the Mini-Grants Program and application process. Information sessions will be held on Tuesday, March 5th  from 10:00 – 11:30 am or 5:00 – 6:30pm at the New Bedford Free Public Library located at 613 Pleasant St. 3rd Floor, New Bedford. Registration is required for the sessions, please call 508-994-9625 ext. 219 or email rsilvia@unitedwayofgnb.org.

“The Mini-Grants program empowers community members to join together to make an impact in an area where they see a need. We also hope it inspires others to do the same,” said Michelle N. Hantman President & CEO.

Applications will be available March 5st at unitedwayofgnb.communityforce.com and will only be accepted electronically. Grants must be submitted by April 12, 2019.

In 2018, twenty-four all-volunteer groups made an impact throughout Greater New Bedford with projects funded by United Way’s Mini-Grant Program. Since its inception in 1995, the Mini-Grants Program has granted $795,314 for local community projects. Be a change agent in Greater New Bedford, visit unitedwayofgnb.org to learn more about the Mini-Grants Program.

JANUARY 14, 2018 — As the government shutdown enters its 24th day, the effects are starting to be felt by the 420,000 federal employees working without pay and the 380,000 federal employees who have been furloughed. Last week, thousands of federal employees missed their first paychecks of 2019. Just as significant, during shutdown, janitors, security guards, and other federal contractors receive no back pay.

In response, United Way of Greater New Bedford and its community partners are preparing for an expected uptick in calls to 2-1-1 from those seeking assistance with rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and groceries. 

“United Way and Mass 2-1-1 are committed to helping our communities impacted by the federal government shutdown,” said Paul Mina, President and CEO of Mass2-1-1.  “Furloughed federal employees and government contractors in need of social services and individuals with questions about availability of public benefits can call 2-1-1 to get help.

Mass 2-1-1; the Commonwealth’s3-digitnon-emergency hot line service will anchor United Way’s community support by providing information about local social services, including the availability of public benefits and corporate assistance programs. Mass 2-1-1 specialists can help those in need connect to food pantries, health care services and utility and eviction prevention assistance. Callers also can receive information on mental health counseling, transportation, job training, substance use recovery services, child care and volunteer opportunities.

Mass 2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information service that connects people from all communities to a specialist who can help find local health and human services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week answering calls in over 140 languages.  For more information visit www.Mass211.org  

At a national level, United Way Worldwide announced Friday that that it will lead the formation of the United for U.S. coalition, a joint effort by corporate partners, organized labor, the United Way network and nonprofits to assist furloughed federal workers and others impacted by the ongoing government shutdown.  United for U.S. will address these needs by bringing together United Way’s deep community knowledge with organized labor and our corporate partners who want to help those in need during the extended shutdown.

“No organization is better positioned than United Way to bring critical resources together for those who need help. Our reach into every U.S. community and our deep relationships with all sectors allow us to create the safety net that will assist our neighbors maintain the fabric of our communities,” said Mary Sellers, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “We are thankful for the support of our corporate partners, organized labor and local United Ways, who stand ready to provide vital services to those in need.”

Wells Fargo and Bank of America are two of United Way’s closest corporate partners offering support to those affected. Wells Fargo will waive fees for customers who have direct deposit from the federal government, or at the customer’s request, and will offer short and long-term assistance for those who need extra time to make payments. Bank of America is offering personalized financial assistance through its Client Assistance Program. United Way is inviting other corporate partners to join the coalition’s efforts.  

This year marks the 20th Annual New Bedford Firefighters’ Union Toy Drive with United Way of Greater New Bedford. Each year, New Bedford firefighters collect toys and gift cards to ensure that children and teens in Greater New Bedford have a happy holiday season.

New, unwrapped toys can be donated at any New Bedford Fire Station as well as a number of local community-minded businesses now through Monday, December 10th. Once toys are collected, a number of active and retired firefighters will spend a day sorting, filling, and delivering toy requests to organizations in Greater New Bedford.

“This initiative has embodied community spirit for the past two decades,” said Victoria Grasela, Director of Marketing & Community Relations at United Way of Greater New Bedford. “Each year hundreds of members of the Greater New Bedford community come together to ensure that Christmas remains a special time for local families.. We are especially grateful to the New Bedford Firefighters’ Union for its commitment to the initiative.”

All of the items collected will be delivered to local nonprofit organizations that serve youth. Some organizations that have received toys from the drive in the past include: Meeting Street/Schwartz Center, NorthStar Learning Centers, Donovan House, Harbour House, Family Preservation Program, and United Way’s Family Resource & Development Center. These agencies will distribute the toys to children through their various holiday activities.

Toys can be donated at any New Bedford Fire Station or any of the following businesses: Acorn Management Properties, American Family Care, Baarsvik Souza Orthodontics, Bask, Buster’s Sports Bar & Grille, Century House, Desert Sun, Dollar General, Empire Ford, First Citizen Credit Union, Glaser Glass, Greasy Luck, Honey Dew Donuts (Church St.), Knuckleheads Bar & Grille, Lowe’s (Wareham), NBCU, New Bedford Housing Authority Office, New Bedford Health Department, Rose Alley, Southcoast Fitness, Star Oil Co., Tabor Nursing Home, The Donut Factory, The Lottery Commission, TJ Maxx (Dartmouth), West End Grill, and Zapp.

Please do not contact the New Bedford Fire Department with questions about the toy drive. Instead, contact United Way of Greater New Bedford with any questions at 508-994-9625 ext. 210.

United Way of Greater New Bedford welcomes Deborah A. Soares as the Director of Corporate Relations.

Ms. Soares joins United Way of Greater New Bedford after spending more than 10 years of her career in broadcasting sales, most recently at Plymouth Rock Broadcasting. The nature of her past work centered on relationship building, sales, and interpersonal skills – all will be a benefit in her new role at United Way.

As Director of Corporate Relations, Ms. Soares will develop, implement, and refine strategies to increase retention and growth of the corporate donor, volunteer base and related financial and in-kind resources in support of UWGNB’s mission. This position will focus on the annual Workplace Giving Campaign, corporate giving and engagement, sponsorships, and provide general support to UWGNB’s overall fundraising efforts.

“We are pleased to welcome Deb as part of our development team, especially as we begin our 65th annual campaign,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way. “Deb has an extensive background in sales and corporate relations. Her skills will help United Way of Greater New Bedford broaden and deepen engagement among our corporate partners in order to impact change for our community.

Ms. Soares received a Bachelor of Arts Administration degree from Wagner College and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Greater New Bedford by mobilizing people, partnerships, and resources. Since 1953, United Way has served the City of New Bedford and surrounding towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham. To learn more about United Way of Greater New Bedford, visit unitedwayofgnb.org.

United Way of Greater New Bedford announces $289,025 in community impact funding to organizations throughout Greater New Bedford. This funding will support high quality programs and services in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.

Prior to this year, United Way funded programming in the Greater New Bedford community through support to traditional agency partners. After completing a strategic plan in 2012, United Way made the decision to transition how it funded in the community. This transition included the creation of new funding streams to better respond to community needs and have a greater impact.

This year, United Way opened the “traditional” grant process to any organization already serving the Greater New Bedford community with high quality programming and services in its three focus areas health, education, and financial Stability– allowing United Way to increase its impact while addressing the most pressing needs in the region. In this first year, 16 organizations have received funding through this year’s Community Impact Grant stream. All applications were thoroughly reviewed by 17 volunteer Citizens Reviewers who made the final award decisions. A full list of recipients is available at unitedwayofgnb.org/community-impact-grants.

“It’s an exciting time at United Way – full of opportunity and change,” said Michelle Hantman, President & CEO at United Way. “As the needs in our community continue to change, we’ve realized to stay relevant and impactful, we need to be flexible and change with those needs. With the updates to our community Impact funding and the creation of new funding streams like the Innovation Fund, South End Engaged, and the Emerging Needs funds, we can assist in creating lasting, positive change for residents.”

In addition to the Community Impact Grants, United Way has funded additional organizations over the past year through the Innovation Fund, South End Engaged, and the Emerging Needs fund. In January, the Innovation Fund awarded nearly $300,000 to three organizations to begin new, innovative programs. These programs are currently being implemented across Greater New Bedford and are well on their way to creating transformational change.

In the past 10 years, United Way has invited nearly $10 million into community initiatives and programs. To learn more about United Way of Greater New Bedford or to get involved with its work, visit unitedwayofgnb.org.

For over 20 years, United Way of Greater New Bedford has provided funding and support to the community through their Summer Fund and Community Building Mini-Grants Programs. This year, United Way announced $90,000 in grants will be awarded through the two programs.

United Way’s Summer Fund program provides grants to non-profits to give local youth meaningful summer enrichment experiences. This summer, $60,000 has been awarded to 15 programs to provide camperships and youth employment opportunities. Summer Fund is a collaboratively funded program supported by the Carney Family Foundation, the Island Foundation, the Upstream Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts’ Acushnet Foundation Fund and Rainy Day Fund. United Way oversees the funding process for Summer Fund; managing the application process, convening reviewers to allocate funding, administering the funding, and evaluating the success of the grants.

“For many disadvantaged youth, enriching summer activities like camps are often out of reach because of their families’ financial hardships,” said Allison Yates-Berg, VP of Community Impact & Operations at United Way. “For teens, they struggle to find summer jobs that will give them real world experience and help them build their resumes. Summer Fund seeks to address these issues and keep these youth engaged and learning throughout the summer months.

This summer 11 youth are employed at 3 non-profits. By working at non-profits, they are gaining meaningful experience while helping to increase the capacity of that non-profit. Prior to their employment, youth employees are required to attend a half day pre-employment training, co-facilitated by United Way and BankFive, to ensure they have the basic skills to succeed this summer.

In addition to Summer Fund, United Way announced $30,000 in funding to 24 groups through the Community Building Mini-Grants Program. Mini-Grants is the only program of its kinds that awards all-volunteer groups with grants of up to $2,500 to complete community building projects that will have a positive impact in Greater New Bedford.

“Each year it becomes harder for our review committee to make funding decisions,” said Rhonda L. Silvia, Community Impact Projects Coordinator. “It is exciting to see volunteers working together to establish new projects and bring the community together in a positive way.”

This year’s funding is supporting projects such as the Onset Street Painting Festival, the Campbell School Playground Project, Read to Me Wareham, Acushnet Library Rocks, and the Fairhaven Outdoor Movie night.

To learn more about these programs and to see a full listing of awardees, click here: Summer Fund Community Building Mini-Grants


United Way of Greater New Bedford and FamilyWize Help Local Community Save $718,000 on Prescription Medications

Health Impact Report reveals partnership has helped 8,084 Greater New Bedford community members in both physical and mental health

United Way of Greater New Bedford and FamilyWize announced today that local community members have saved $718,000 on prescription medications through the organizations’ partnership. The results were revealed in their annual Health Impact Report, a compilation of data reflecting the health and financial support offered by United Way and FamilyWize in its joint community initiatives across the country.

In May, FamilyWize acknowledged Mental Health Awareness Month by joining the mental health community in their efforts to educate patients on the importance of treatment adherence. FamilyWize commits itself to increasing the public’s understanding surrounding mental illness and patients’ accessibility to affordable medications. One in six adult Americans are affected by mental health conditions, with 56 percent of adults with mental illness not receiving treatment.

Key community highlights from the Health Impact Report for Greater New Bedford include:

  • $193,956 savings on prescription mental health medications
  • $718,000 total savings on all prescription medications
  • 8,084 community members helped

“Rising prescription prices continue to be a major burden for individuals and families in our community, whether their medications are for mental health or another chronic illness. We consider ourselves advocates for individuals struggling with the high costs of mental illness,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “Our partnership with FamilyWize enables us to address this issue by offering abundant resources to all community members seeking affordable healthcare. The impact we’re making is changing lives, and we look forward to supporting many more families in the years to come.”

FamilyWize is one of the longest running prescription savings programs in the country and is accepted at most pharmacies nationwide, covering all FDA-approved prescription medications.

Over 1,000 United Ways have collaborated with FamilyWize to help over 11 million Americans save more than $1 billion, with an average savings of 45 percent since the partnership began.

The FamilyWize program is free, has no eligibility or registration requirements, and provides families and individuals access to affordable prescription medications. Visit www.familywize.org to download and print the discount card, or simply learn more about the program. The card is also available at United Way of Greater New Bedford.

About FamilyWize

Since 2005, FamilyWize has helped over 11 million Americans live healthier lives by saving them more than $1 billion on life-saving prescription drugs. By aggregating large groups of patients, FamilyWize advocates and negotiates for deep discounts on prescription drugs which it then passes on in full to patients. FamilyWize partners with some of the most respected community groups and health care providers in the country, including United Way Worldwide, National Council for Behavioral Health, Mental Health America, and American Heart Association, among thousands of other community organizations. To use FamilyWize, download our card or mobile app at https://familywize.org/free-prescription-discount- card.







United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission will operate the fourth annual Mobile Market this summer in the North and South Ends of New Bedford. The Mobile Market provides free, locally grown, fresh produce to low-income working families in Greater New Bedford. United Way’s Mobile Market is designed to avoid the barriers these families often face when accessing fresh produce. It’s free, open after work hours, and allows families to pick the types of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and other produce they want. Last year, United Way’s Mobile Market distributed 12,000 pounds of fresh food, feeding 168 low-income, working families healthy, nutritious meals over the summer.

“Eating healthier is on the minds of everyone these days, but can be expensive and can be extremely hard to do while on a very fixed or limited income,” said Michelle N. Hantman, United Way President & CEO. “So many families we work with want to provide a healthier option to their children, but find themselves having to choose between buying healthier food and paying monthly bills. Mobile Market solves this dilemma and provides the healthy option at no cost.”

The fresh produce distributed is grown locally by Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA and at Sampson’s Farm in Westport. The Mobile Market is made possible with the support of BankFive and Southcoast Health.

Produce is distributed on Tuesdays from 5:30-7pm (Wednesdays in the case of rain) on alternating weeks in the North and South End. The Mobile Market is located in the South End across the street from Dennison Memorial Community Center on July 17th, July 31st, Aug. 14th, Aug. 28th, Sept. 11th, and Sept. 25th and in the North End at BankFive located at 1724 Acushnet Ave on July 10th, July 24th, Aug. 7th, Aug. 21st, Sept. 4th, Sept 18th, and Oct. 2nd.

Qualifying families and individuals are invited to visit the Mobile Market every other week. Photo ID and proof of earned income are required. Families and individuals who do not qualify for Mobile Market are encourage to call 2-1-1 for information about local food pantries, many of which also provide fresh produce during the summer months.


Mobile Market English Flyer & Application 2018

Mobile Market Spanish Flyer & Application 2018

Mobile Market Portuguese Flyer & Application 2018



Area Letter Carriers Collect over 21,000 pounds of food for needy

With the 26th Annual Letter Carriers/USPS Food Drive behind us, we collected over 21,000 pounds of food from our generous postal patrons this past Saturday. This food was collected in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Acushnet and Fairhaven, despite the fact that the predicted weather was for rain throughout the day. Luckily, the rain wasn’t as bad as predicted. However, the forecast probably suppressed the total donations since people often hesitate to put out food during inclement weather for fear it will be spoiled.

For those who either forgot or didn’t put out the food this past Saturday, we usually collect any food put out during the beginning of the following week, and we already picked up several hundred pounds yesterday!

This was a combined effort by City and Rural Letter Carriers, Clerks and management personnel of the USPS, as well as the various food pantries and their volunteers who were recipients of the food. We thank them all for their efforts.

We also thank the various businesses who donated food to feed both the volunteers of the pantries and postal personnel who made the extra effort to collect food throughout the day. We also thank our partners at the United Way, who have been helping us organize the food drive for years.

We also thank the employees at P.J. Keating in Acushnet for allowing us to weigh up the truckloads of food since the New Bedford City Scales at their Shawmut Avenue facility were inoperative and could not be used.

The food, which all remains locally, was distributed to the following pantries:
• The Hunger Commission, stationed at the Downtown P.O., received 3,600 pounds;
• Catholic Social Services, stationed in S. Dartmouth, received 2,700 pounds;
• Shepherd’s Pantry, stationed in Fairhaven, received 3,640 pounds;
• Damien’s Kitchen, stationed in N. Dartmouth, received 3,080 pounds; and
• PACE, stationed at the Mount Pleasant Station, received 7,940 pounds.

Once again, we thank all of our postal patrons for their generous donations, as well as the letter carriers who did the hard work of picking up the food while delivering their mail! We look forward to next year’s food drive.

Yours truly,

Richard M. Drolet, Food Drive Coordinator, New Bedford Installation