UWNEMN on the Iron Range

Highway 53 bridge - Photo credit: Floyd Luomanen

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota is proud to support families, individuals, and agencies across the Iron Range - from Orr to Saginaw, Pengilly to Babbitt.

All work on the Iron Range is supported directly by donations made by folks who live and work on the Iron Range. When you Give Where You Live, your donations stay local. 

UWNEMN is offering financial assistance to Iron Range individuals who have lost work due to COVID-19. CLICK HERE for more information on this and other resources. 

Click HERE to apply for free school shoes for Iron Range children!



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

Buddy Backpacks - More than 900 Iron Range children 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.

Comforts of Home - 448 Iron Range children and 593 Iron Range adults experiencing a housing emergency received home goods like pillows, towels, and blankets in 2020 thanks to a UWNEMN partnership with select Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart stores. 

Imagination Library - More than 2,000 Iron Range children currently receive monthly books delivered free to their home through Dolly Parton's school readiness program which is locally sponsored by UWNEMN. There are no income guidelines to this program; any child between age 0 and 5 are eligible. Sign your child up today!

Lunch Buddies - UWNEMN's Lunch Buddies program was piloted in Hibbing’s Greenhaven and Washington Elementary schools the spring semester of the 2019-2020 school year. The program is meant to connect first and second grade students with a caring adult mentor and will be piloted in Merritt Elementary School and Keewatin Elementary School in the spring semester of the 2021-2022 school year!

Meet Up and Chow Down logo

Meet Up and Chow Down - More than 8,000 free summer lunches were distributed to Iron Range children last summer. Stay tuned for details on sites for summer 2021.

Smiles United - 1,500+ uninsured and under-insured children on the Iron Range receive teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants, oral health, and nutritional education to children through UWNEMN's partnership with Children's Dental Services. The service is provided by a mobile dental unit that brings the equipment on-site with a local hygienist and assistant. 

United for Veterans - A program designed to address the issues and gaps in services for Iron Range veterans. Programming includes holiday meal kits, free counseling, retreats, a transitional home for homeless veterans, and more. For veterans that are dealing with financial set backs, UWNEMN has an application for funding that is available to veterans in need. Click HERE to view application.

211- 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.


Arrowhead Center Adolescent Treatment 218-749-2877
Camp Chicagami 218-744-4683
Ely Community Resource 218-365-5254
Hibbing Kinship Mentoring Program 218-254-2746
ServeMinnesota Reading Corps 612-333-7740
Volunteers In Education (VinE) 218-404-5742
Summer Work Outreach Project (SWOP) 218-750-1877



Angel Fund 218-362-6668
Care Partners 218-404-1411
Ely Community Health Center. 218-365-5678
Northwoods Partners. 218-365-2300
Project Care 218-263-8549



Advocates for Family Peace 218-326-0388
Food Shelves Area Wide  
Range Transitional Housing 218-741-9628
Salvation Army/Hibbing 218-263-5096
Salvation Army/Virginia 218-741-1889
Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank 218-727-5653
Sexual Assault Program/N.S.L.C 218-749-4725
Support Within Reach 218-326-6423
United Way 2-1-1 211




American Red Cross 218-722-0071
AEOA Elder Services Network 218-735-6899
Girl Scouts of MN & WI Lakes and Pines 218-726-4710
LSS Family Resource Center 218-741-3433
Mesabi YMCA 218-749-8020
N.S.L.C. Habitat for Humanity 218-749-8910
Voyageurs Area Council Boy Scouts 218-729-5811


The 2020-2021 UWNEMN funding cycle for Iron Range agencies is now open. If your agency would like to apply for funding, click here.

 "Give Where You Live" today and help us create lasting change in the lives of people right here in our communities.

There are many ways you can invest with United Way of Northeastern Minnesota to support Iron Range individuals, families, and agencies:

 Virginia AEOA, Virginia Pine Mill Court, Mt. Iron Raintree, Nahswauk High School, Side Lake Post Office, Britt Short Stop, Fayal Town Hall, Hibbing HRA*, Maple Hill Community Center*, Kelly Lake Community Center*, Opal Lane*, Our Savior's Lutheran Church Hibbing*, and Hibbing Airport*

*UWNEMN partnered with Friends of the Hibbing Library to install and maintain these libraries.

Thank you to UWNEMN Board Member Matt Hiti for building the newest Little Free Libraries in our region - and donating the materials to build and install them.

Matt built these libraries in memory of his wife's aunt, Jan Ferraro, and they will be stocked with books from Jan's collection, along with books collected through UWNEMN's book drive held in partnership with American Bank.

If you have an idea for a Little Free Library or notice an existing one is in need of more books or a repair, please contact sarah@unitedwaynemn.org

Be aware:

UWNEMN has been made aware of a Facebook scam in which hackers implicate that United Way will give people money in return for a donation. No one from United Way will ever contact you, unsolicited, with a grant offer and will never request a donation in order to provide you financial assistance.

If you are in need of financial assistance due to COVID-19, please click here. If you are a veteran in need of financial assistance, please contact your local VSO and request they reach out to us regarding our United for Veterans program