Our Work

The United Way of Northeastern Minnesota is no longer just a fundraising entity. Since 2008, we have worked to adopt our own programs that help to improve education, financial stability and promote healthy lives in our communities.


  • Buddy Backpacks - Children most at risk in our area schools are enrolled in this program and receive a backpack full of nutritious, child-friendly and non-perishable food each Friday or holiday break before they head home from school.

  • Meet Up and Chow Down - UWNEMN has teamed up with the Range Center, Chisholm Food Shelf and Chisholm Public Library to pilot "Meet Up and Chow Down" in Chisholm. Free lunch will be provided Monday through Thursday from 12:30-1:30 at the Chisholm Kiwanis Park for kids ages one to 18 ALL SUMMER! "Meet Up and Chow Down" is part of the USDA and MDE Summer Food Service Program.  
  • Imagination Library - A school readiness program sponsored by United Way that delivers monthly age appropriate books to children birth to age five for FREE! There are no income guidelines to this program. Since the inception, over 6,200 children have benefited from the program. Sign your child up today!

  • Smiles Across Minnesota - A preventative dental care program that provides teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants, oral health, and nutritional education to children in a school based setting  with a focus on children who are under or un-insured.  The service is provided by a mobile dental unit that brings the equipment on site with a local hygienist and assistant.

  • Good360 - Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot and Toner Planet donate products throughout the year to United Way. In turn, we make this product available to our agencies and individuals and families across our service territory at no cost through refferals. Last year, $160,000 worth of household items were distributed to families in need.

  • Bright Beginnings - An initiative designed to address the issues surrounding childcare in our communities as well as early childhood education opportunities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • United for Veterans - A program designed to address the issues and gaps in services for local veterans in our service territory. 

  • 2-1-1 - United Way has collaborated with other non-profits, government, business people and professionals around Minnesota to bring 211, a single call that provides callers with one-stop vital information