United Way application process opens

Organizations, groups and agencies interested in becoming partners of the United Way of Stephens County are encouraged to explore and evaluate the opportunity.

The annual application period ends Dec. 15, 2017 for new agency proposals. It ends Jan. 5, 2018 for existing agencies.

Existing agencies deal with basic needs like food, shelter and clothing, children and youth programs, counseling and referral services, development services and senior citizen programs and activities.

“A recommended start is to have a preliminary exploratory meeting with members of the United Way staff,” Ed Darling, executive director of the local umbrella group, said. “That session should answer a lot of questions and provide direction for any procedures that might follow.”

Prospective agencies will be asked to complete an application that discusses the agency’s goals, objectives and plans, its areas of service, its financial status and funding methods, its professional and volunteer leadership and staff, its facilities and its future outlook.

An allocations committee, made up of United Way board members and community volunteers, will evaluate all proposals and tour prospective agencies. Agencies selected for funding for the 2017-18 year will be announced in March with an appeals process, if necessary, also in March.

The United Way of Stephens County is now in its 63rd year of operation. It started as the Community Chest in 1954. It became the Duncan United Way in 1967, the United Way of Duncan in 1976 and the United Way of Stephens County in 1993. It currently supports 14 partner agencies with a goal of $325,000 during the current campaign.

Agencies are Christians Concerned, Delta Community Action Foundation, Douglass Eastside Senior Citizens Center, Duncan Area Literacy Council, Duncan Community Residence, Duncan Literacy Council, Duncan Senior Citizens Center, Gabriel’s House Academy, Gillispie Counseling Services, Heartline 2-1-1, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Marlow Samaritans, Women’s Haven and Youth Services for Stephens County.

The United Way office is located at 12 South 8th Street, Suite 9. For additional information, contact Ed Darling at the United Way office, (580) 255-3648.