Impact Grants

Representatives from the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and its Fund Distribution Committee hold a check representing the $505,047 in Community Impact Grants being awarded this year by the Winchester-based nonprofit. Shown during a special ceremony Monday morning at 329 N. Cameron St. are Jennifer Hall (from left), Joe Czachowski, Nadine Bullock-Potinga, Jessica Neff, Yolanda Barbier Gibson and Elise Stine-Dolinar.

WINCHESTER — COVID-19 hasn’t diminished the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s generous spirit.

The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) announced Monday morning that corporate and private donations are allowing it to give more than half-a-million dollars for local educational, financial, stabilization and health-care programs through its 2021-22 Community Impact Grant Program.

“It was a 10% increase overall from what we normally do,” Jessica Neff of First Bank in Strasburg, a member of the committee that vetted this year’s grant applications, said during a brief ceremony outside United Way NSV headquarters at 329 N. Cameron St. in Winchester. “I think everyone was overly generous this year because they know the need is so great.”

The United Way NSV serves Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page counties. A total of 36 nonprofits in its service area were selected to share a total of $505,047 in grant funding through this year’s Community Impact Grant Program.

Thirty-nine regional organizations had initially sought a total of $735,772 in impact grants this year. Choosing the recipients “was really a challenge because there were so many needs, so we had to make some really tough decisions,” said Yolanda Barbier Gibson of Shenandoah University, who served on the United Way NSV’s Fund Distribution Committee that vetted and selected this year’s grant recipients.

“I’m grateful that we were able to contribute to almost all of our grant applicants,” Gibson said. “We paid close attention to details as it pertained to their reports, their needs, how the requests would impact the community, how they’ll use the funds. It was really a challenge to make sure we were serving the needs of the community.”

“One of the things I’ve always liked about the United Way approach is that it covers all the different areas of our community,” added committee member Joe Czachowski, the national sourcing manager for Trex in Winchester. “It’s nice that we’re giving something to all the different organizations.”

This year’s grant amounts range from $1,940 for Horizon Goodwill Industries in Winchester to provide transportation assistance for clients staying at the Lord Fairfax House rehabilitation facility to $48,360 for Shenandoah Community Health Clinic in Woodstock to contract a mental-health counselor for students in Shenandoah County Public Schools.

“Despite the global pandemic, our corporate partners and individual donors continued to give generously,” said Nadine Bullock-Pottinga, president and CEO of the United Way NSV. “The community stood behind us and made sure our partner agencies have the resources they need to provide critical support for families as they recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.”

The 2021-22 Community Impact Grants will be awarded by United Way NSV starting July 1.

To learn more about the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and how its Community Impact Grants support nonprofits throughout the region, visit

— Contact Brian Brehm


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