HCN News & Notes

Unify Against Bullying to Award $20,000 in Grants

SPRINGFIELD — Unify Against Bullying’s 2019 online grant applications are now open. All applications are due to be submitted by August 14. Unify announced that the nonprofit has increased the amount it is awarding this year to $20,000, a record amount for the organization.

Grant applications are available at UnifyAgainstBullying.org.

“One of our key goals is to inspire youth of all ages to participate; it’s our job to give life to their ideas,” said Executive Director Christine Maiwald. “They know best how we can bring an end to bullying. Additionally, we are in search of parents, teachers and community leaders who would like to help us end this epidemic. All are encouraged to apply.”

To date, Unify has awarded 27 grants to students and others who have helped lead anti-bullying efforts in their schools and communities. All programs have been dedicated to anti-bullying education and furthering the Unify mission — to bring an end to bullying through the celebration of true diversity.

“To encourage youth participation, the grant-application process has been made very easy,” said Maiwald. “It’s a single-page form which can be filled out in a matter of minutes.”

The organization has a committee of volunteers who select the initiatives that best reflect and advance the agency’s mission. “This is the fourth year that Unify will be awarding grants,” said Maiwald. “We’ve come a long way from our first year where we were only able to provide $3,500 in grants. Although it was a modest start, it was the beginning of something very special.”

Unify Against Bullying is a tax-exempt organization dedicated to bringing an end to bullying through the celebration of true diversity. To achieve this mission, Unify provides grants to students, teachers, parents and community leaders dedicated to bringing an end to bullying. One of Unify’s core missions is to inspire youth of all ages and ignite their ideas on how to prevent or reduce bullying. Unify’s high school students attend events and help educate their communities on the different resources available.

The organization also coordinates programs where high school students educate their younger peers on the value of celebrating our differences. The “Unify Selfie Challenge” is a social media effort which raises awareness to the silence associated with bullying. It has been completed in all 50 states and over 56 countries globally. Even celebrities such as Captain America have participated. Unify also creates and produces an annual all- inclusive fashion show which celebrates everyone’s uniqueness. To apply for a grant, learn more about the Oct. 21 fashion show, or make a donation; visit www.UnifyAgainstBullying.org.