SCAUW Funded Nonprofits / Agencies for 2018-19

Sherburne County Area United Way (SCAUW) impacts lives by focusing on:

  • Education - Working to end America's education crisis

  • Income - Promoting financial stability and independence

  • Health - Improving health and changing lives

SCAUW is creating a better community for everyone through our grant programs. In 2018-2019, SCAUW will help more than 33,000 people receive necessary human services in our community through funding more than 20 local agencies and nonprofits.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN

In Sherburne County, over 1,000 children are living in poverty. Mentoring has been proven to be instrumental in creating resilient youth able to overcome these obstacles and challenges. Big Brothers and Big Sisters serve as role models, augment social skills and emotional well-being. This encourages better attendance, lower dropout rates and decreases drug involvement and violent behavior.   We currently have over 100 at-risk program-approved youth waiting to become matched with a dedicated mentor.

Boys and Girls Club of Elk River

Research shows students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun but academically beneficial activities. The Boys and Girls Club is committed to ending the dropout crisis by promoting learning and setting a high value on education through programs such as Project Learn, Money Matters and Healthy Habits. Of the youth participating in the program, 90% have graduated from high school or obtained a GED.  

Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program

According to results of the MN Standards MCA III Reading Assessment of 2016, 40.1% of MN 3rd graders partially meet or do not meet reading standards. Reading proficiency by the end of 3rd grade is often a predictor for future academic and life success. FGP assists children from birth to 21, in one-to-one or in small groups who have been identified as having special needs to review and practice skills taught by the volunteer station staff and teachers. This is a great opportunity for children to receive additional emotional support, love and attention.

Catholic Charities Senior Dining

Food insecure seniors are worse off than food secure seniors. They are 65% more likely to be diabetic, twice as likely to report fair or poor general health and 2.3 times more likely to suffer from depression. The Senior Dining program focuses on targeting seniors who are at moderate to high nutrition risk. Many of the dining sites are located within low income subsidized senior apartment complexes to provide meal service to the targeted population. The Meals on Wheels program allows seniors who are homebound to remain in their homes longer. Meal delivery also provides an added layer of safety for seniors, working as a wellness check for homebound seniors.

Girl Scouts of MN and WI Lakes and Pines

Young women face constant challenges throughout life. Today’s girls represent humanity’s largest untapped talent, yet barriers such as bullying, conflicting messages about their bodies and leadership abilities prevent them from believing they have what it takes. Girls need positive affirming programs to counteract the dangerous messages they receive about themselves. The Girl Scout program highlights five outcomes that lead to building successful girl leaders in our communities:  Sense of Self, Positive Values, Challenge Seeking, Healthy Relationships and Community Problem Solving.

Angels on Main

Individuals who experience debilitating events, such as dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s disease often experience isolation from social activities. Many become dependent on family members to help with normal daily activities.  Close to half the population we serve are cared for by a family member who is also employed outside the home, which can cause stress when 24 hour care is needed.  Angels on Main Adult Day Services encourages participation in socialization, therapeutic recreation and exercise and adapts activities to meet participants’ needs.

Anna Marie’s Alliance

Alarming statistics indicate that, even as you read this short sentence, a woman has become the victim of an assault. Every nine seconds, another woman in the U.S. is beaten. Violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness among families and Anna Marie’s Alliance programs provide a varied approach to solving the problem of domestic violence by providing protection, help in transitioning to a new life and working in the community to create change that makes a culture of violence unacceptable.

Big Lake Community Food Shelf

Big Lake Community Food Shelf addresses the need for sufficient food resources for their clients over the summer months by continuing summer kids’ bags and family vouchers.  Healthy additional food is provided during the months not supported by school food support programming. The program Cooking Matters is for elementary and middle school age classes. Cooking Matters partners with a community nutrition providers to teach children how to make healthy snacks and meals that are easy to prepare. They also learn the value of fresh foods and receive hands-on experience with shopping, menu planning and purchasing foods for a well-balanced meal.    


CAER helped almost 5,000 people in 2017 with their on-site monthly food program. CAER addresses the needs of low-income individuals and families in the community by providing help with food, financial support for shelter, utilities and transportation in the form of minor car repair and/or tires to vehicles. The food programs at CAER have a short-term impact by providing hunger relief to families and individuals. The long-term impact is better attendance for school-age children and healthier individuals and families. 

Elk River ECFE

Early childhood family education is based on the premise that parents are children’s most significant teachers. ECFE has a strong commitment to parents who are parenting alone and to teens and young adults who are pregnant or parenting. During the school year, ECFE staff will provide parenting solo families and young parent families with a light supper and single parents and their children will participate in parent-child activities prepared by the licensed Early Childhood family educators. Activities will be developmentally appropriate and promote positive parent-child interaction.

Great River Faith in Action

Furniture 4 Families is designed to help families in need such as single mothers leaving abusive relationships, houses lost in fires and individuals that have gone through a rehabilitation program and are trying to start new. Becker Furniture World and Slumberland Furniture help to meet these needs. The rest is covered by donations. Faith in Action strives to lift the spirits of the people they are helping by supplying them with furniture and beds that are either new or in excellent condition.  It will help show them that there are people behind them and gives them some pride and confidence to go out and begin their new life on the right foot.  Productive citizens make our communities stronger.

Great River Family Promise

Great River Family Promise seeks to resolve the initial crisis of homelessness through the shelter portion of their program. Issues are addressed that led people to a housing crisis and helps them maintain some level of financial stability while in the shelter. An aftercare program follows the family for one year. Aftercare also provides additional support to help them remain financially stable.

Kinship Youth Mentoring of Princeton

According to the American Institute for Research, students with low socioeconomic status, are more likely to be labeled “at-risk” and show feelings of isolation and estrangement in their schools. Children and youth crave care and support from adults in their family and beyond. These relationships are key development assets that have shown to help young people avoid risky behavior, develop resilience and thrive on the paths to adulthoods.  KYMP is dedicated to the mission of providing safe, quality mentor relationships that improve the lives of youth in our community through a diligent screening and matching process.

Open Doors for Youth

Open Doors for Youth serves youth ages 16-23 who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability. On any given night in MN, according to the 2015 Wilder survey, there are over 6,000 unaccompanied homeless youth. Aging out of foster care, fleeing abuse, poverty, drug addiction, mental illness of family members or lack of acceptance after a youth identifies as LGBTQ, are some of the many reasons for youth homelessness. These young people find themselves alone and vulnerable, lacking what is necessary to thrive. Open Doors for Youth provides basic personal needs and makes connections in the community.

Options, Inc.

Options, Inc. is currently working with 70 individuals in helping secure and maintain employment in the community. Federal and State mandates support employment as a preferred outcome for working-age youth with disabilities.The cost to support an individual gainfully employed is much less than traditional day program costs. In order to address these needs, Options, Inc. will be employing three strategies: Vocational Evaluations, Job Seeking Skill Training and Job Placement.  


Pearl Crisis Center

The rate of violence in our service area continues to climb and child abuse and exposure to domestic violence are often overlooked due to confidentiality laws.  We are trying to dismantle this belief system and empower victims to come forth, receive help, identify red flags and learn what a healthy relationship is.  They can learn to help others and know that they have a voice in their healing process.

Princeton ISD 477

Princeton School District 477 serves children in four counties. Studies prove that children living at or near poverty level do not have the same access to early learning programs as their peers and are less likely to arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and be able to keep up with their classmates. Some who apply for help are put on long wait lists of up to eight months for approval. In order to expedite the process, Princeton ISD 477 asks those families to apply for an in-house scholarship while they are waiting for funding. Once approved, families pay based on a sliding fee scale. Early childhood education can make a lasting, positive impact on children throughout their lives.

Retired Senior Volunteers

RSVP’s vision is to be a bridge between those who need and those who give. Two customer groups, volunteers and the agencies that need to engage volunteers, keep the needs of both of groups in mind at all times. An example of this partnership is the BookEnds Readers Theater which is completing its 22nd season of spreading the joy of reading to public and private elementary school students through expressive group readings.

Rivers of Hope

Family violence impacts entire households. Data from the 2016 MN Student Survey reveals that in Sherburne County, both male and female students, as young as 8th grade, report that they have been put down verbally or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Child maltreatment, peer victimization and exposure to family and community violence have been shown to be connected to developmental difficulties, problem behavior and physical and mental health effects. This project will provide targeted services to students whose daily lives reflect the reality of these statistics. The Rivers of Hope Youth Advocate meets with students who frequently stay with other families when it is not safe to go home.

Serve MN

For today’s learners, mastering fundamental math skills will mean the difference between struggle and success. Despite this, 29% of 4th-8th graders in Big Lake, Elk River and Princeton Public School Districts are failing to meet grade-level math benchmarks.  By providing schools with math tutors and coaches, Math Corps helps expand the capacity of schools to provide supplemental support for students.

Spectrum High School

Spectrum High School is known for college prep curriculum, technology integration, and a community-based outreach program. Every Spectrum student belongs to a Service Learning Group, a teacher-led unit where students learn social responsibility and achieve real objectives for the community. Connecting learning to service at the middle and high school levels gives students the opportunity to learn relevant life skills while honing moral development.

Tri Cap Tax Help

Tri-CAP is an IRS sponsored program by which volunteers are trained and certified to prepare taxes as well as providing referral services for other Tri-CAP programs. The overall outcome sought by the Tri-CAP Tax program is to provide free tax assistance to the residents of Central MN.  

True Friends Camp

Disabilities impact people in distinct ways, resulting in specialized program needs. Many people experience multiple disabilities, face chronic medical conditions, difficult behaviors, sensory sensitivity, trauma and other issues. Program focuses are, increasing and improving services for participants with autism and sensory impairment and continuing to improve and increase respite programs. Student volunteers and seasonal staff learn to respect everyone, focus on abilities, appreciate the value of helping others and gain an introduction to human services careers.

Volunteer Bridge

As people move in and out of Sherburne County, there is a continuous need for one consolidated place for people to contact when looking for volunteer opportunities. The Volunteer Bridge has a systematic way of providing information and resources as well as a referral process. Member organizations also benefit from ongoing training and networking that happens during and outside of regularly scheduled meetings.

Sherburne County Area United Way
PO Box 36
18334 Joplin St. NW
Elk River, MN 55330

Phone: (763) 633-5886
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© 2018 Sherburne County Area United Way