United Way of Beaver County Announces Additional Matching Grant for The ALICE Fund

The United Way of Beaver County (UWBC) and Shell Polymers, Monaca (Shell) is thrilled to announce that Shell has offered an additional $25,000 matching grant to the UWBC’s ALICE Fund! Shell gave a $50,000 Matching Grant toward The ALICE Fund in late 2023 – as of today, this initial $50,000 grant has been fully matched by companies and organizations in Beavery County. Realizing that the need is so very great, and recognizing the tremendous support of The ALICE Fund from the Beaver County community, Shell wants to spearhead the effort of helping even more of their ALICE neighbors through the UWBC through this additional grant. This means that any gifts to the UWBC’s ALICE Fund will continue to be doubled, up to $25,000, through this additional match from Shell.

Through The ALICE Fund, the UWBC will award mini-grants in early 2024 to Beaver County charities, not currently funded through the United Way, but which serve those in need in Beaver County, providing food, shelter, after-school programs, and other assistance. An alarming 38% of the households in Beaver County are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Restrained, Employed). ALICE populations are found in every town, borough, and municipality throughout Beaver County, with the percentages of ALICE households ranging from 17% to a distressing 73%! ALICE households are unable to afford the basics of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology. (Source: www.unitedforalice.org).

“I am so grateful that Shell immediately recognized the need to support The ALICE Fund as soon as they heard the alarming statistic that 38% of Beaver County Households are ALICE or in poverty. To continue to help in the way of an additional matching grant leverages other donations from Beaver County residents and from the corporate community, allowing us to extend our reach of support even further,” said Mary Lou Harju, Executive Director of the UWBC.

“Donating money to The ALICE Fund gives us yet another opportunity to put our words into action,” said Bill Watson, General Manager of Shell Polymers Monaca. “Our employees live in Potter Township, Monaca -throughout Beaver County – and in other communities that surround our plant. We may very well be living right next door to someone who needs the help that The ALICE Fund can provide. So, when we say we support our friends and neighbors, we literally mean it.”

“Additionally, an anonymous Beaver County resident donated $25,000 to be used as a matching grant for donations made by individuals to The ALICE Fund,” Harju continued. “This means that I, as an individual donor, can make my gift to the UWBC double in size just by either giving a little more this year or designating all or part of my gift to the ALICE Fund,” said Harju. “We are close to meeting that matching grant as well, but we still need help from the community to do so.” Additional large gifts to The ALICE Fund were given by The Edwin D. Hill Charitable Trust in the amount of $10,000, and by NiSource (Columbia Gas) in the amount of $5,000.

The ALICE population is often overlooked when assistance is offered because they are employed. “We must see them. We must help them,” Harju said. Therefore, she is asking both Beaver County residents, companies, and small businesses to support The ALICE Fund and the 2023/2024 Annual Campaign by becoming a new UWBC donor or, if a current UWBC donor, donating a little more this year to help ALICE.

She hopes that other companies and small businesses in Beaver County will also understand the need to help through The ALICE Fund and give to the UWBC.

“I am just overwhelmed by the amount of support that we have received for this endeavor so far,” said Harju. “The high percentage of ALICE households is not going to decrease anytime soon. We need to do what we can to help ALICE, while also trying to lower that statistic in Beaver County. We are grateful to Shell Polymers, Monaca and the many other companies in Beaver County for their generosity. Additionally, the anonymous matching grant donor and the other individuals in Beaver County who are helping us help ALICE through their tremendous support shows just how caring and compassionate Beaver County residents are, and how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful community.”