United Way of Greater New Bedford announces 13 Changemaker Grants

United Way of Greater New Bedford has announced the recipients of its 2023 Changemaker Grants, awarding 13 volunteer organizations up to $2,500 each for community initiatives.

Together, the recipients will receive a total of $28,304 for projects as varied as holding enriching events for students and improving the water quality of the Paskamansett River in Dartmouth. Money will support Swifts Beach Park upgrades in Wareham, providing clothes, shoes and toiletries for people in need through Walt’s Mobile Closet, and planting community gardens.

Four of the grant recipients will focus on New Bedford, including South Coast Condominiums, which will expand and improve its community garden with its Changemaker Grant.

The New Bedford Rowing Center will use the funds to purchase 25 life jackets. The organization itself will buy 25 more life jackets, for a total of 50 to equip two Dragon Boats that are being restored by Rowing Center volunteers and students at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School. The group purchased the used boats last year with a $5,000 BayCoast Bank grant.

The city’s West End Tennis Association plans to introduce the game of tennis to residents of the West End, including adults and young people who live in the Westlawn Housing Project. And the Swift PTO will celebrate the completion of another school year at Swift Elementary School and buy school supplies for each child.

In Wareham, Village Hoops will complete its improvements to Hammond Playground in Onset, and the Dog Park Association of Wareham will construct kiosks to display information and the work of young artists.

Regionally, Don’t Give Up, Rise Up will help enhance resilience among elementary students with presentations and discussions, while Grow Greater New Bedford will encourage people to plant gardens in their back yards.

Rochester Affordable Housing Inc. will work to gain support for affordable housing to benefit seniors and military veterans in Rochester.  And The Fruits of our Labor / Soulflower Yoga and Wellness will create and maintain two raised garden beds in Cushman Park, Fairhaven.

“I can’t think of a better way of building community than by supporting the ideas that come from the community,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “We are proud to support these 13 organizations and their projects, knowing that their activities will improve life for the people who take part, whether it is planting a garden, rowing a Dragon Boat or enjoying tennis and basketball.”

UWGNB has been awarding Changemaker Grants since 1995, funding nearly 838 projects to build stronger connections between people and that fill an important community need. Awards go to small, all-volunteer groups with annual budgets of no more than $40,000.

For more information and a full list of grant recipients, visit https://unitedwayofgnb.org/changemaker-grants.