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KV Connect finds new way to help nonprofits

KV Connect traditionally hosts Waterville Green Drinks the second Tuesday of each month to raise money for local nonprofits while networking with other young professionals in the area. Since COVID-19 swept in, events have had to be canceled, but community needs continue to grow. KV Connect decided to pool its resources to continue to support the community.

“Our goal this year was to raise $2,020 during 2020 to help our local nonprofits. However, we needed to get creative due to COVID because we had to cancel our in-person fundraisers. We also have had to cancel our twice-weekly volunteer opportunity delivering food to the soup kitchen. We wanted to find a new way to engage members in the community and still have an impact,” said Samantha Burdick, president of the KV Connect Steering Committee.

KV Connect’s Community Service and Outreach Committee decided to take things virtual, by trying its first-ever digital fundraiser using Facebook. KV Connect launched the digital fundraiser on July 13 with hopes to raise $500 in five days. “Our goal was to raise $500 in five days to help United Way’s Community First Fund. We know that this fund helps so many non-profits in our region that have been impacted by COVID and our support would go where it is needed most,” said Courtney Squire, chairman of the Community Service and Outreach Committee.

The group was able to exceed its goal. By week’s end, a total of $740 had been raised for the Community First Fund with giving by 19 donors on Facebook. The money will be used to fund programs or projects that address needs in the region. Since March, over $55,000 has been awarded to local nonprofit organizations to help confront food insecurity and provide essential needs to families and children. “We strive to be a community partner, and help young professionals become involved in their community. We are blown away by the support of our members and look forward to continuing to support the community through our volunteer and fundraising efforts,” said Burdick. Those looking to get involved with KV Connect should contact Courtney at the Mid-Maine Chamber (courtney@midmainechamber.com).

KV Connect is a networking group for professionals in the greater Waterville area. Its mission is to connect young people not only to each other but to the many resources the community has to offer. It seeks to positively impact the community through economic, social, political, and community service initiatives.

United Way of Mid-Maine serves communities throughout Somerset, northern Kennebec, and western Waldo Counties. United Way of Mid-Maine is a community partner that works with local non-profit organizations to ensure the community has access to critical service in the focus areas of Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families, Promoting Independence, and Meeting Immediate Needs.

The United Way Community First Fund is accessible year-round to nonprofit organizations to provide extra funding for programs or projects that address a need in the community, or aid in the continuation of an organization’s mission.

The Community First Fund provides funding for programs or projects that are: Combating food insecurity, such as a food bank or meal program, providing access to basic essential needs like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, baby essentials, providing family and child enrichment, such as book or arts programs, providing community relief for disasters such as flood or ice storms, and providing community support for a crisis such as COVID-19.