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Boys Town New England Receives United Way Grant

​​​Boys Town New England has been awarded a grant by United Way of ​Rhode Island in the amount of $300,000 to support community engagement efforts at the site. Boys Town will receive $100,000 yearly for three years to support its In-Home Family ServicesSM program in Central Falls, Rhode Island and Pawtucket, Rhode Island where Boys Town will receive referrals from the school system in each town.

“The most exciting part of this funding is that it gives us the ability to kick off some amazing community engagement efforts,” said Ashley Kuzmanko, Boys Town New England Development Director. The groundwork for this program was laid early on by Community Engagement Developer Marcy Shyllon. Marcy built relationships with the Central Falls and Pawtucket school districts and with city officials to make this initiative possible. Receiving funding was the last piece of the puzzle to begin offering In-Home Family Services to families in these two communities.

The grant is awarded by United Way for the first year of its new 2016-2019 grant cycle, with a focus on funding efforts that help kids fall in love with learning, help adults reach new career goals, and help families meet their basic needs. In total, United Way has awarded $3.1 million in grants among the $12 million it has committed through 2019 to help change the lives of 250,000 Rhode Islanders by 2020, the overarching goal of its new strategic plan, LIVE UNITED 2020.

"The collaboration between Boys Town New England’s development office, local community engagement efforts and programs, as well as the support from our national office made this opportunity possible,” said Kuzmanko. “We are very excited about this funding as it will allow us to truly make a difference in two communities here in Rhode Island.”

Boys Town New England submitted its funding application in response to United Way’s request for proposals last fall. The submission was one of 224 proposals received by United Way. Funding proposals were put through a vigorous review process by a diverse group of 75 United Way community volunteers, who spent nearly six months reviewing proposals before delivering their funding recommendations to the United Way Community Investment Advisory Committee for approval. Volunteers received more than ten hours of training to become reviewers, and were tasked with taking a total of $16.5 million in funding requests to allocate the $3.1 million made available by United Way.

“While our goal of changing 250,000 lives by 2020 is ambitious, the innovative ideas of the funding proposals we received really captured the forward thinking we need to make the vision a reality,” said Anthony Maione, President and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “We know that when families have access to stable housing, children receive the opportunities they need to succeed in the classroom, and adults get the support they need to advance in the workforce, there’s no limit to how strong our communities can become—and that helps everyone.”