United Way announces 2022 Impact on the Plains finalists

WICHITA, Kan., Sept. 7, 2022 — Eight finalists have been named for this year’s Impact on the Plains. The top two program applicants in the four focus areas of healtheducationfinancial stability and basic needs will participate in the “Shark Tank”-style social innovation competition hosted by United Way of the Plains. This is the second year the event has been held. Up to $100,000 will be awarded to nonprofits with innovative and impactful solutions to community issues. Finalists will make their pitches on stage in a live competition for an investment of $25,000 in each focus area. The exclusive event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Finalists were selected from applications submitted by a variety of area nonprofit agencies. In addition to learning more about these eight initiatives during the presentations, community leaders acting as judges will ask questions of each of the presenters to help them determine the winning solutions. The finalists address specific needs across the eight-county service area covered by United Way of the Plains with programs that have been operating between one and four years.

Abel Frederic, Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of the Plains, said the investment event attracted applications from both traditionally funded partners as well as newer nonprofits. “Helping our community achieve its potential requires innovative approaches to tough challenges. We’re looking forward to partnering with these nonprofits who have initiated some bold solutions for strengthening our community.”

The eight finalists are:


  • Exercise and Wellness Program, Club Parkinson’s
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – provides research based, comprehensive wellness and treatment programs for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers
  • Trauma-related Support for Vets, Sojourner’s Coffee House
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – facilitates a safe, confidential space for service members, veterans and their families who are battling addiction and anxiety to come together and gain community in a healthy environment


  • Empowering Youth Through Debate, Ad Astra Debate League
    – teaches students effective communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills to be prepared for college and careers in the 21st century
  • Summer Enrichment and Exploration Program, ICT Launchpad
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – helps low-income students maintain academic skills over the summer while also providing social activities and meals

Financial Stability

  • Wings Up:  A Pathway to Economic Stability, Destination Innovation
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – nurtures young adults who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) through career training, hands-on experience and mentoring to create pathways to financial security
  • Bridges Out of Poverty, Children First
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – helps low-income families move from instability and poverty to long-term resource stability through education and credit coaching

Basic Needs

  • Mobile Shower and Hygiene Program, Shower Up Wichita
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – restores dignity, self-esteem and humanity to those experiencing homelessness through mobile showers, hygiene and personal care
  • Emergency Help for Victims of Trafficking, Hope Ranch for Women
    INNOVATIVE OUTCOME – offers emergency shelter and a drop-in center to women survivors of trafficking, abuse and trauma

Check the social media platforms for United Way of the Plains on the evening of Sept. 15 to learn which nonprofits are selected for the $25,000 investment and visit unitedwayplains.org/impact for more information about the competition. The host sponsor for the event is Textron Aviation. Kickstarter sponsors include EY, Hutton, Spirit AeroSystems and Emprise Bank.


MEDIA CONTACT: Angie Prather, Vice President of Marketing and Chief Community Engagement Officer, (316) 267-1321, aprather@unitedwayplains.org

United Way of the Plains is a nonprofit and for-impact organization that focuses on health, education, financial stability and basic needs – the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Our mission is to improve lives by harnessing the caring power of our community to advance the common good in south central Kansas. Follow us on these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.


Published On: September 7, 2022


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.