United Way of Greater Los Angeles is closing out its Centennial year with a $2.85 million round of grantmaking to 87 organizations reaching tens of thousands of people across Los Angeles County.

In recognition of the fact that COVID has not impacted everyone equally, and that our low income communities have been hit disproportionately hard, this includes many first-time recipients as the United Way extends its reach to support to dozens of small grassroots organizations in a Centennial-year strategic focus on expanding its support in areas where the COVID19 pandemic unveiled the greatest inequities. 

The awards, which range up to $50,000 each, represent two themes that have emerged as central to United Way of Greater Los Angeles’s strategy in its Centennial year: supporting on-the-ground efforts that allow neighbors to support one another in moments of acute crisis, and empowering grass-roots groups that can build community wealth over the long term. 

“We’ve got 100 years of lessons to draw from, and some of the most powerful came out of what we saw in the last three,” said Elise Buik, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “Communities with strong connections to each other and well-tended roots are more resilient.. We can see it in the response to disasters as well as in how we right the wrongs of racial inequity, whether it’s in making it through an immediate crisis or setting the next generation up for prosperity.” 

This new UWGLA grant opportunity funds nonprofit organizations and community groups providing care and building power across L.A. County. The efforts supported vary in location, type of service and people served, but all strive to provide immediate support or build shared prosperity long-term. A full list of grantees is included below.

Some grantees re-imagine a community-powered social safety net by providing support for essentials like food, rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, mentoring/tutoring, clothing, hygiene, healthcare/mental health, and public benefits.

Arnali Ray, executive director of the Hollywood Food Coalition, one of the grantees that addresses food insecurity in Los Angeles, said her organization, “is a small organization that has grown over the last several years because United Way L.A. has been able to help us really built capacity consistently across our programs,” she said. “Over the last few years, we’ve been able to grow our dinner program, exchange, and wellness programs, helping us be consistent and responsive to the community.”

Additional grantees are helping to establish greater community ownership and build community wealth. Examples include organizing campaigns, community land trusts, housing and worker cooperatives, community information networks, public space improvements, and lending circles.

“We have been able to expand all our services from the community fridges to our rental assistance program, and we’ve been able to help more families than ever because of the help of United Way,” said Miss Rodgers, founder of Miss Rodgers’ Neighborhood, a grassroots community organization based in Compton. “I’m grateful for United Way, for recognizing us and for seeing how they can truly be beneficial to our communities.”

With this investment, UWGLA builds on the power of mutual aid networks to invest in communities across Los Angeles County. On average, the grant awardees are smaller than previous recipients, and many are grassroots organizations.

This model was piloted beginning in March of 2020 with UWGLA’s Pandemic Relief Fund, which raised more than $10 million in relief funds. Small community-based organizations and informal networks were key in making sure that food, funds and personal protective equipment got into the hands of people facing food and housing insecurity, such as unhoused people or informal workers such as food vendors, domestic workers and mariachis.

For 100 years UWGLA has built bridges between people of different perspectives in order to bring relief and resources to people in need. The organization will continue to learn and grow in partnership with communities to create L.A.’s future, together.

Local grantees: BRIDGE Housing Corporation, Meals On Wheels West, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council – Wellbeing Microgrants, Santa Monica College Foundation, St. John’s Community Health and UCLA

Submitted by Esmeralda Fabian Romero

Drive sober or get pulled over

This holiday season, the California region of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and local law enforcement to share the message about the dangers of drunk driving. MADD, NHTSA, OTS and local law enforcement partners want all drivers to remember this lifesaving message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Drivers will see officers working together through January 1, looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The holidays are one of the most dangerous times on our nation’s roadways as more people travel to celebrate with friends and family. According to NHTSA, California had the largest increase of any state in the number of lives lost in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2020 – an alarming 20% increase in the number of fatalities from 2019 to 2020. During the month of December 2020, 937 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, accounting for 29% of all traffic deaths. This is why MADD is working with local law enforcement to remind the public that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“We know everyone is rushing around during the weeks leading up to the holidays, preparing for holiday gatherings and getting into the seasonal mood,” said Patricia Rillera, MADD California State Executive Director. “If you plan to head out to festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home because driving drunk should never be an option. Even one drink is one drink too many if you’re the driver.” Rillera said.

Understand the Risks

Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. If you’re caught drinking and driving you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $22,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and lost wages, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

MADD recommends these safe party tips, especially for those hosting this holiday season:

The safest choice is to never drink and drive. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver, use a ride service or public transportation, call a taxi or a sober friend to get home safely.

Confirm your party guests have a plan for a safe way home and offer non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and those who do not drink.

If you see a suspected drunk driver on the road, as soon as it is safe call 911 to report them.

Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take the keys away and arrange to get your friend home safely or invite them to stay the night.

For more safe party tips, visit MADD.ORG/SAFEPARTY. For more information about the 2022 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Subitted by MADD

Citywide

United Way of Greater Los Angeles Celebrates 100 Years of Service With $2.85 Million in Grants to 87 Community-Based Organizations Regionwide

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is closing out its Centennial year with a $2.85 million round of grantmaking to 87 organizations reaching tens of thousands of people across Los Angeles County.

In recognition of the fact that COVID has not impacted everyone equally, and that our low income communities have been hit disproportionately hard, this includes many first-time recipients as the United Way extends its reach to support to dozens of small grassroots organizations in a Centennial-year strategic focus on expanding its support in areas where the COVID19 pandemic unveiled the greatest inequities.

The awards, which range up to $50,000 each, represent two themes that have emerged as central to United Way of Greater Los Angeles’s strategy in its Centennial year: supporting on-the-ground efforts that allow neighbors to support one another in moments of acute crisis, and empowering grass-roots groups that can build community wealth over the long term.

“We’ve got 100 years of lessons to draw from, and some of the most powerful came out of what we saw in the last three,” said Elise Buik, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “Communities with strong connections to each other and well-tended roots are more resilient.. We can see it in the response to disasters as well as in how we right the wrongs of racial inequity, whether it’s in making it through an immediate crisis or setting the next generation up for prosperity.”

This new UWGLA grant opportunity funds nonprofit organizations and community groups providing care and building power across L.A. County. The efforts supported vary in location, type of service and people served, but all strive to provide immediate support or build shared prosperity long-term. A list of local grantees is included below.

Some grantees re-imagine a community-powered social safety net by providing support for essentials like food, rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, mentoring/tutoring, clothing, hygiene, healthcare/mental health, and public benefits.

Arnali Ray, executive director of the Hollywood Food Coalition, one of the grantees that addresses food insecurity in Los Angeles, said her organization, “is a small organization that has grown over the last several years because United Way L.A. has been able to help us really built capacity consistently across our programs,” she said. “Over the last few years, we’ve been able to grow our dinner program, exchange, and wellness programs, helping us be consistent and responsive to the community.”

Additional grantees are helping to establish greater community ownership and build community wealth. Examples include organizing campaigns, community land trusts, housing and worker cooperatives, community information networks, public space improvements, and lending circles.

“We have been able to expand all our services from the community fridges to our rental assistance program, and we’ve been able to help more families than ever because of the help of United Way,” said Miss Rodgers, founder of Miss Rodgers’ Neighborhood, a grassroots community organization based in Compton. “I’m grateful for United Way, for recognizing us and for seeing how they can truly be beneficial to our communities.”

With this investment, UWGLA builds on the power of mutual aid networks to invest in communities across Los Angeles County. On average, the grant awardees are smaller than previous recipients, and many are grassroots organizations.

This model was piloted beginning in March of 2020 with UWGLA’s Pandemic Relief Fund, which raised more than $10 million in relief funds. Small community-based organizations and informal networks were key in making sure that food, funds and personal protective equipment got into the hands of people facing food and housing insecurity, such as unhoused people or informal workers such as food vendors, domestic workers and mariachis.

For 100 years UWGLA has built bridges between people of different perspectives in order to bring relief and resources to people in need. The organization will continue to learn and grow in partnership with communities to create L.A.’s future, together.

Local grantees: BRIDGE Housing Corporation, Meals On Wheels West, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council – Wellbeing Microgrants, Santa Monica College Foundation, St. John’s Community Health and UCLA

Submitted by Esmeralda Fabian Romero