A well-known Winona organization is getting ready
to close for good.
Winona United Way will shut down at the end of this
year and its community partners have a few concerns.
News 8's Sarah Thamer is here to explain...Sarah?
Winona United Way has been operating and funding partner
agencies since 1943.
But as of December 31st...those agencies will no longer
be able to recieve funding from the non-profit.
The organization says it has tried to do its best
to stay open...but sustaining its services has been
After 70 years, United Way in Winona is closing its
And there is one major reason:
Declining donations over the years.
If you look really from that period of recession 2007
to 2008 time frame, donations have been steadily declining
And declining donations means increased financial
concerns for community partners.
The partner agencies themselves look forward to having
that money come from the united way and so when all
of a sudden somebody tells you that that money is
not gonna be available for them the following year,
that means that they have to look for other places
to make up that shortfall.
Home and Community Options, which supports 270 individuals
with developmental disabilities in Winona.
has partnered with United Way for 40 years..and says
the organization's abscence will have a big impact
on its future.
United Way has helped us in a number of ways, financially
of course it really helps some of our in-home programs
where we dont have regular funding to meet our needs,
they come in and those fundings really help educate
families and help us build our resource homes.
United Way provided Home and Community options with
11,000 dollars for training and services.
And without that kind of funding, Home and community
options may suffer from the shortfall.
These are fundings that really arent supplemented
by any other means so losing that will be really critical
if we're not able to find other resources.
We're not different than a lot of other cities and
communities whether it's minnesota or around the nation
so there has been several closings of united ways
and I think they run into the same thing, declining
donations and it's just not enough recources to be
able to meet the requirements of the national orginization.
The closing was approved by the board in a uninamous
decision and was announced during a time when United
Way would be starting its annual funding campaign.
Over the last few years.
United Way has provided 120,000 dollars of allocations
to 19 community partners.
That amount was broken up among the agencies.
United Way staff and directors will be working to
make sure partner agencies receive their funding through
the end of the year.
Great Rivers United Way based in Onalaska will pick
up the service areas of Buffalo and Trempealeau counties,
which were orginally served by United Way in Winona.