KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE – United Way of Greater Kingsport (UWGK) continues to DRIVE AND INSPIRE COMMUNITY CHANGE by enabling seven regional nonprofit organizations to receive over $424,000 in grant dollars for programs serving local seniors.
UWGK was made aware of grant monies available for senior programs through the “Serving Tennessee’s Seniors” grant, administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee at the request of the Chancery Court. The requirements of the grant include that funds may only be used to serve the senior population within the State of Tennessee, that funds are spent within six-months, and that outcomes are reported to The Community Foundation in order to keep the public informed about the goals accomplished with this funding. The Community Foundation also hopes organizations will be able to leverage this grant for additional sources of support.
Upon learning of these available dollars and following discussions with the grant administrator, Becca Sutphen, UWGK’s Director of Community Impact, brought together member agencies and other nonprofit organizations serving on UWGK’s Aging with Choices Vision Council. Sutphen informed organizations of the targeted audience and one-time nature of the grant funding and invited nonprofits with relevant programming to apply.
Ultimately, seven local organizations applied for and received a cumulative $424,314 in funding. These organizations are: Alzheimer's Regional Resource Center, Inc., Alzheimer’s Tennessee, First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging, Kingsport Senior Center, Legal Aid of East TN, Meals on Wheels, and Mountain Region Speech and Hearing. These dollars will be used for the following purposes:
- Alzheimer's Regional Resource Center, Inc.: $5,300 – Administering a 12-hour training course to 45 students/caregivers on how to properly care for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia based on the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.
- Alzheimer’s Tennessee: $30,000 - Online Caregiver Academy and materials.
- First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging & Disability: $191,500 - Minor home repairs and building wheelchair ramps for seniors. Approximately 65 seniors will be served. The project titled is SAFER Homes for Seniors.
- Kingsport Senior Center: $75,000 - Mobile and stationary technology. This technology will be used in a multitude of ways, including making caregiving easier, online sales, digital photography, and the use of webcams to offer at home seniors a view into the exercise, education, and recreational activities at the Center online.
- Legal Aid of East TN: $25,000 – A Senior Education program to work with the senior centers in our area to present educational programs and make a “legal checkup” available to those attending. This checkup will help people understand the legal issues they may be facing and what LAET can help them do to overcome those issues.
- Meals on Wheels: $83,000 – Covering food costs for 230 meals per weekday for six months.
- Mountain Region Speech and Hearing: $37,014 - New audiology equipment as well as 10 hearing aids.
The mission of United Way of Greater Kingsport is to improve lives. Our vision is a better life for all. We achieve this by mobilizing the caring power of the community to drive and inspire positive, long-lasting change in addressing root cause issues. By facilitating this funding opportunity for our member agencies, as well as other nonprofits working with seniors, UWGK continues to position itself as a leader in community impact.
Of the grant dollars, Sutphen said, “We are thankful to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for making us aware of this opportunity for area nonprofits. Because of our collaborative community impact work and our strong support of area seniors, The United Way of Greater Kingsport was seen as the appropriate channel through which to coordinate this funding opportunity in our region. We are proud of our role in bringing over $424,000 in funding to local organizations serving one of our most vulnerable populations, allowing us to continue working together toward a better life for all.”