The Union Pacific Foundation has awarded 29 Louisiana nonprofits more than $127,000 in grants, including two grants totaling $4,000 to two nonprofits based in Monroe.

On Monday, the foundation announced the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum and United Way of Northeast Louisiana received $3,000 and $1,000, respectively.

The grants are the railroad company’s way of giving back to the communities directly impacted by its operations.

The Union Pacific Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Union Pacific Corp., and it has distributed funds since 1959 to qualified organizations in communities served by Union Pacific, according to the corporation.

“Supporting these charitable organizations helps them continue to play important roles in improving the communities where our employees live and work,” said
Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president of corporate relations and Union Pacific Foundation president. “We are proud to make a positive contribution to building strong, sustainable communities across our railroad network.”

The money will formally be handed over in June.

Martha Ryan, director of the children’s museum, said she was thrilled the foundation was giving back to the local community. The money would be used toward the museum’s programs and projects such as its exhibits, summer programs and Peanut Butter and Jam concert series, she said.

“Three thousand dollars doesn’t seem like a lot to a lot of people, but it’s a great big deal to us,” she said. “They’re not based here, and they could have easily given it to somebody else. For them to give to the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum … something like that is big.”

Janet Durden, president of United Way or Northeast Louisiana, said organization receives a corporate gift from Union Pacific every year, she said. The $1,000 will go toward United Way’s three target areas of income, education and health: the organization serves to help individuals and families become more financially stable, increase graduation rates, and increase access to care and preventive health and nutritional services in the community.

“We love that they’ve been a long-standing supporter of United Way,” Durden said.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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