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. 



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

Buddy Backpacks logo

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 - Over 1,000 Iron Range adults and children experiencing a housing emergency received home goods like pillows, towels, and blankets each year thanks to a UWNEMN partnership with select 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 elementary students with a caring adult mentor and was piloted in Merritt Elementary School and Keewatin Elementary School in the spring semester of the 2021-2022 school year! We areseeking mentors for elementary students in nine schools across the region for the 2023-2024 school year. If you would like to make a difference in a child's life, click here to express interest!

Meet Up and Chow Down logo

Meet Up and Chow Down - More than 10,000 free summer lunches were distributed to Iron Range children last summer! To view the sites or get involved, click here!

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
Boys & Girls Club of Hibbing 218-208-8375
Camp Chicagami 218-744-4683
Check & Connect 218-725-5049
Community Steps 218-254-3329
Ely Community Resource 218-365-5254
Girl Scouts of MN & WI Lakes and Pines 218-726-4710
Local Libraries with Summer Reading Programs  
ServeMinnesota Reading Corps 612-333-7740
Voices for Ethnic and Multicultural Awareness (VEMA)  218-254-0051
Volunteers In Education (VinE) 218-404-5742
Voyageurs Area Council Boy Scouts 218-729-5811



Angel Fund 218-262-9929
Care Partners 218-404-1411
Ely Community Health Center 218-365-5678
Northwoods Partners 218-365-8019
Project Care 218-263-8549



Advocates for Family Peace 218-248-5512
Food Shelves Area Wide  
N.S.L.C. Habitat for Humanity 218-749-8910
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
Star of the North Maternity Home 218-461-0564
Support Within Reach 218-326-5008
United Way 2-1-1 211




American Red Cross 218-722-0071
AEOA Elder Services Network 218-735-6899
Floodwood Services & Training 218-476-2230
LSS Family Resource Center 218-741-3433

 "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.

COVID-19 funding is no longer available through United Way of Northeastern Minnesota. The only financial assistance UWNEMN can currently provide to individuals is veterans living/working in UWNEMN's service area. Click here to learn more.  If you are in need of other assistance, please dial 2-1-1.