Thanks to the Mankato Clinic Foundation, Greater Mankato Area United Way is receiving two grants to further improve people’s lives in our region through health and wellness.

The first grant is $30,000 to be used for the First Steps program, a partnership between Greater Mankato Area United Way, Mankato Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health System, Blue Earth County and other community partners.

The overall goals of First Steps are to help pregnant women have healthy babies, promote child health and development, and strengthen family self-sufficiency. Since piloted in 2012, over 800 women have been referred to the program.

The second grant is $1,000 to be used for Project Community Connect, for which United Way serves as fiscal host. The event is organized by Blue Earth County Employment Services, Minnesota Valley Action Council, Partners for Affordable Housing, SMILES Center for Independent Living and United Way.

Project Community Connect is an annual event that connects low-income and at-risk individuals and families with community resources and support using a “one-stop shop” model.

This year’s event will take place April 18, 2017, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Mankato’s Verizon Wireless Center.

“These dollars are essential in ensuring the well-being, stability and self-sufficiency of individuals of all ages in our region,” said United Way CEO Barb Kaus. “We are grateful for the Mankato Clinic Foundation’s longtime partnership and commitment to health and wellness in our region.”

The Mankato Clinic Foundation provides resources to organizations and endeavors that effectively promote and improve community health and wellness. Since the primary focus of the Foundation is to support the health and well-being of the community, projects and programs supported include education and scholarships initiatives focused on health care, health education and wellness.

The physicians at the Mankato Clinic provide the majority of the Foundation funding as a means to give back to the community by providing support to organizations which strive to improve health and wellness. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis.

-KEYC News 12