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Valley United Way offering micro grants to fund volunteer projects

(Twitter Photo/Valley of the Sun United Way)

PHOENIX — Know of a park that could use a cleanup or a classroom that needs a new coat of paint?

The Valley of the Sun United Way is making it easy for people to spearhead their own volunteer projects by connecting them with the tools and other materials necessary for the job.

The Operation Uplift program includes dozens of already organized volunteer opportunities throughout the spring, as well as micro grants to fund original projects.

“The goal of Operation Uplift is how can we get people involved and engaged in local community through volunteerism, through civic engagement, to make a meaningful impact in their space,” Francisco Avalos, director of engagement, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

“We know that research indicates that when individuals and local community rise up … their community has healthier outcomes.”

Avalos said individuals, nonprofits and public schools in Maricopa County can submit a request for whatever they need for a project, which must be completed before the end of April.

There are three types of grants available — one is for tools like drills, saws and vacuums provided by the Phoenix Community ToolBank.

The second is for other materials like trash bags, gloves, tape, etc., and the third is for $200 to be used toward the project.

“If you are a mom in Peoria who has been looking at a … room that could use a fresh coat of paint, you can apply to benefit that public school,” Avalos said.

“Or if you’re an employee of a local nonprofit that’s been looking to get a project executed, United Way wants to stand next to you and help you get that project done.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report. 

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