United Way Launches New Kindness Initiative

United Way of 1000 Lakes has announced the launch of a grants program focused on promoting kindness, empathy, and meaningful connections in the northland. 

The Kindness Grant program builds upon Minnesota United Acts of Kindness Week, a week-long celebration of kindness that takes place in Minnesota communities each November. 

Inspired by a generous gift of $10,000 from a compassionate donor, United Way seeks to grow the grant fund dollar-for-dollar. Several organizations have already joined forces to support the effort, including Affinity Plus Credit Union, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), and Members Cooperative Credit Union.

Through the Kindness Grants program, United Way will provide small grants (up to $500) to advance kindness in the Itasca area. Through a short application process, individuals and organizations can pitch their kindness ideas for an opportunity to have their project supported.

Submissions will be accepted year-round, on a rolling basis. Priority will be given to projects that impact under-served and/or low-income communities, increase equity, inclusion, and understanding; and closely align with United Way’s focus areas (Education, Income, and Health).

“We are excited to help bring innovative ideas forward,” says Kim Brink Smith, executive director.“Whatever a project might look like, we’re excited to partner with local changemakers to champion kindness.”

To learn more and to apply, visit  uwlakes.org/kindness-grants. Anyone with questions or wanting to provide financial support to the project is encouraged to reach out to United Way at 218-999-7570 or kimberly@uwlakes.org.