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Critical needs fund moves to United Way

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Michael Marsicano

Michael Marsicano

PJ staff report

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The emergency fund created during the height of the recession to help Charlotte-area residents address basic needs will continue this year, but is under  new management.

Started in 2008 by the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Critical Needs Response Fund now will be managed by United Way of Central Carolinas.

“In many ways, the most logical place for this effort to reside is the United Way, which is the lead agency in our community focused on human services,” Michael Marsicano, president and CEO of the foundation, says in a statement.

Seeding the fund for the third year in a row is the Leon Levine Foundation, which has provided challenge grant that will match donations one-to-two up to $1 million.

The fund’s other initial donation came from seven-year-old Zachary Anderson, who donated $29 in proceeds from his summer lemonade stand to the effort.

During its first two years of operation, the fund raised and distributed $6.6 million to benefit nonprofits that help residents with basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and utilities.

Donors to the United Way’s fall fundraising campaign, which is just getting under way, now will be able to designate their contributions to the Critical Needs Response Fund, which will be one of five fund options, including the Community Care Fund and three other targeted funds.

Fundraising, grant-request review and fund distribution now will be handled by United Way, although the same group of volunteers will be asked to evaluate grant-awards committee in an effort to maintain continuity.

Donations to the fund can be made through workplace-giving campaigns, or by calling the United Way at 704.371.6325.

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