Our Community Investments

United Way of the Plains invests in programs that tackle our community’s most pressing needs.

United Way’s core investments in local nonprofit programs are made through three grant opportunities: Opportunity on the Plains, Promise on the Plains and Impact on the Plains. Each investment opportunity supports our work to advance the common good in our focus areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs.

OPPORTUNITY ON THE PLAINS

Opportunity on the Plains is the largest, annual investment program from United Way of the Plains to help meet the most pressing needs in our community. It provides grants to health and human service programs in our focus areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs. Thanks to the caring power of our community, this program is investing a total of $6,582,311 in area programs, including 24 new programs, from July 2022 to June 2023 that will help individuals and families throughout south central Kansas achieve their human potential.

Download a list of this year’s recipients.

Opportunity on the Plains is the largest, annual investment program from United Way of the Plains to help meet the most pressing needs in our community.
Promise on the Plains works to reduce inequities in the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) nonprofit sector by assisting in building organizational capacity to help foster a more just and inclusive community.

PROMISE ON THE PLAINS

Promise on the Plains works to reduce inequities in the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) nonprofit sector by assisting in building organizational capacity to help foster a more just and inclusive community. Grants intentionally support and strengthen nonprofit organizations serving the BIPOC community, while advancing the work of United Way in the areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs. United Way has invested $100,000 in 10 nonprofit organizations that benefit the BIPOC community.

Recipients were announced at the Mayor’s Press Briefing on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Read the press release, with a list of the recipients, here.

IMPACT ON THE PLAINS

Impact on the Plains, United Way’s social innovation competition, invites nonprofits to pitch their ideas for bold solutions to community issues in a “Shark-Tank” style event.  A diverse group of community judges narrows down applications to the top two in each of our focus areas: health, education, financial stability and basic needs. Finalists pitch their program to a panel of judges at a live event. This event promotes an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the nonprofit community and transforms how complex social issues are addressed.

Impact on the Plains was held Sept. 15, 2022. Read the press release, highlighting the recipients. Learn more about Impact on the Plains.

Impact on the Plains, United Way’s social innovation competition, invites nonprofits to pitch their ideas for bold solutions to community issues in a “Shark-Tank” style event.

COLLECTIVE IMPACT:
IMPACT ICT-CoC

United Way is leveraging collective impact to tackle homelessness at it’s root causes. Under this model, we bring together partners from multiple sectors, such as businesses, nonprofits, government organizations, community leaders and more to form the Impact ICT Continuum of Care Coalition. United Way serves as the backbone organization to support the work of the coalition by coordinating a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities and ongoing communication. Learn more:

HOMELESS SERVICES

As part of their efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring, the coalition coordinates grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through a $2.8 million HUD grant, 14 homeless service programs are funded in Sedgwick County for 2022 – 2023. They include:

  • Breakthrough Episcopal Social Services: Rapid Re-Housing Program
  • Catholic Charities: Rapid Re-Housing Program
  • HumanKind Ministries: Villa Central, Villa Courts and Villa North
  • Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas: Dual Diagnosis Permanent Supportive Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing Consolidated
  • Sedgwick County COMCARE: Shelter Plus Care Consolidated
  • The Salvation Army: TH – RHH Program
  • United Way of the Plains: Coordinated Entry – Domestic Violence Database, CoC Planning Project, Coordinated Entry – Homeless Management Information System and Coordinated Entry – SSO
  • United Methodist Open Door: Family Rapid Re-Housing

YOUTH PROGRAMS

The Dwane L. Wallace Youth Venture Grant Committee is a student-led committee that receives leadership training, reviews program grant applications and budgets, and allocates funding. Below is a list of community partners they are funding this year.

ICT Food Rescue: Food Rescue Photo Exhibit – $1,271
This grant will be used to create a traveling photo exhibit that staff and student ambassadors will display at community events in Wichita to develop new food donation partnerships to decrease food waste and increase food donations. They will also partner with Children First to increase the volume of food going to families with children.

Sedwick County Department of Corrections: POWER Program – $2,500
POWER stands for Providing Opportunities While Ending Recidivism. The Department of Corrections will engage the juveniles by building comfort kits with their families, along side of law enforcement. Kits include a stuffed animal and children’s book. Law enforcement keep the kits with them to give to children they encounter through their work.

USD 396 Seal Elementary: Sensory Equipment – $1,362.97
Funding will be used to purchase sensory equipment to assist students in maintaining a calm state so that they can perform in the classroom to the best of their abilities.

USD 259 Spaght Communication/Magnet School: The Den – $3,100
The Den will become a school store where students can earn tokens through positive actions like coming to school on time, not leaving early, following school rules for success and being a positive leader in school. Tokens can be used to purchase items, such as healthy snacks, personal care items, clothing and other incentives.

Wichita Collegiate School: GREEN TEAM – $982.90
The GREEN TEAM, made up of third graders, will build four raised garden beds. The fresh vegetable grown in these beds will be provided to local food pantries to help those in need.

OUR FOCUS

Our focus is on healtheducationfinancial stability and basic needs—the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Click below to learn more about what we’re doing, the programs we invest in and our lasting impact in each area.