Community Impact Grants

When you donate to Acton-Boxborough United Way, your dollars work harder to bring critical services to our community.  By pooling your donations, we can  make significant grants to organizations, attracting the quality services necessary for all residents to belong and thrive as the need for support is dramatically increasing.  

For our current grant cycle, Acton-Boxborough United Way committed $175,500 in Community Impact Grants to 17 area nonprofits supporting the health, education, and financial stability of the Acton and Boxborough communities. These Community Impact Grants are in addition to the $200,000 A-B United Way raised in 2020 for a separate A-B United Way COVID-19 Impact Fund benefiting community agencies and individuals seriously affected by the pandemic.

Our Current Grantees

A Friend in Need is a program of South Acton Congregational Church which provides one-time emergency assistance to residents of Acton, Boxborough, and Maynard who have been identified to the program by a caseworker, social worker, or clergy person.

AB Community Education logoOur grant to A-B Community Education supports tuition assistance for the Summer Day Program, providing opportunities to attend this enriching program to students who might otherwise not be able to afford to do so. 

The goal of the ABHL Early Childhood Council Scholarship Program is to promote access to developmentally appropriate high-quality pre-kindergarten settings for young children from low to moderate income working families of diverse cultural, racial and linguistic and economic backgrounds. This is accomplished by providing partial scholarships, making high-quality caring and supportive preschool environments financially accessible to families who could not otherwise afford the cost.


Acton Housing Authority (AHA) assists some of the neediest residents of Acton and Boxborough. Its mission is to provide safe and affordable housing to low-income residents from Acton and Boxborough. Our grant to AHA covers the cost of the Self-Sufficiency Coordinator to work extra hours to assist residents in State Funded Housing. The residents are provided with case management, information and referrals and support services to elderly, disabled and family residents who live in AHA’s State funded housing. 


CESI logo

Cooperative Elder Services’ Acton Center provides adult day health services to seniors and adults with medical or cognitive challenges who reside in Acton and surrounding communities. Our grant supports needs-based scholarships for those from Acton and Boxborough.

DACI logo

The Doli Atamian Campership Program raises funds to provide a camp or summer experience for children of low-income families who reside in Acton or Boxborough or for those whose housing is subsidized by the Acton Housing Authority in other communities contiguous to Acton and Boxborough.

A summer camp experience is valuable for children who often have no access to recreational areas and limited opportunity to explore new interests and skills. The opportunity to attend summer school can make a significant difference to a child in remaining with his or her peer group.  

DVSN logoDomestic Violence Service Network (DVSN) provides outreach and direct support to victims of domestic violence in partnership with ten police departments (including Acton and Boxborough), Hanscom AFB, the Concord District Court, and volunteer advocates.

DVSN provides two direct service programs: The Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program (DVVAP) and the Court Support Program (CSP), which helps victims navigate the court system by assigning the victim an Advocate (volunteer).

The $175,500 in Community Impact Grants represents A-B United Way’s largest grant commitment ever, an almost 14 percent increase over Community Impact funding in previous years. This grant cycle is for an 18-month period running from January 2021 through June 2022.  

In interviewing agencies and considering their financial requests, A-B United Way focused on its mission to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of EVERY person in Acton and Boxborough. Of the $175,500 allocated, 50 percent targets agencies providing health-related services in areas such as senior services, domestic violence, early intervention for children, and mental health services. Thirty percent focuses on financial stability including housing, legal services, food insecurity, and emergency payments. Education rounds out the grants with an emphasis on supporting programs for families with young children, preschool scholarships, programs for residents with disabilities, summer camperships, and English language classes.

The agencies A-B United Way funds – both through the $175,500 given out in Community Impact Grants and the $200,000 COVID-19 Impact Fund -- have demonstrated remarkable resilience during the challenges of 2020.  Through their creativity, caring and commitment, they have continued to meet the needs of the community and the people they serve by adapting quickly to the changing environment.  Mt. Calvary Community Supper, for example, turned its in-person community supper serving 65 people weekly into a drive-thru dinner “pick up” for 250 people.  MetroWest Legal Services held socially distanced attorney-client meetings on clients’ front lawns.  Several agencies used Zoom for mental health counseling, educational classes for the disabled, and domestic violence services. 

According to A-B United Way Executive Director Griet Dehandschutter, “A-B United Way is proud to support these agencies who make a difference in the lives of our community members each and every day.” And through the new A-B United Way COVID-19 Impact Fund, “We were able to also address the immediate needs of individuals by paying - so far - more than $100,000 in rent, utilities, and car repairs for people struggling with the loss of employment during this community and national crisis.”