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Johnson City, TN – April 20, 2023 – United Way of East TN Highlands has announced the finalists of the 2023 social innovation pitch competition, Problem Solving Pitches.

This year’s pitch competition will include programs created by the following nonprofit organizations: Appalachian Opportunity Fund, Elizabethton Senior Center, Language & Culture Resource Center (ETSU), The Salvation Army of Johnson City, Unity Housing, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. The top three programs at the end of the night, as determined by the judges panel and the crowd in attendance, will be awarded $10,000 grants.

Also pitching at the event will be three youth-based initiatives who will be pitching to win a grant from United Way of East TN Highlands’ Tennessee Afterschool Network (TAN) funding. Those organizations include the Carter County Chamber of Commerce, Loaves & Fishes Outreach Ministry, and North Ridge Community Church.

The Social Innovation Fund was brought to life in 2020 through an anonymous donation specifically made to fuel social innovation in the region. This year’s Social Innovation Pitch Night is sponsored by the City of Johnson City, FoundersForge, General Shale, and WJHL.

The live pitch competition will take place at 5:30pm on May 11, 2023, at the ETSU’s Martin Center in the Bert C. Bach Theatre. Tickets are free, but required for the event as there is limited seating. More information, free tickets for the event, and past grant winners can be found online at




About United Way of East TN Highlands
Serving Washington, Carter, Johnson and Southern Sullivan Counties, our goal is to break the cycle of poverty by uniting people and resources to strengthen the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. Our vision is to be a community united to empower every person and organization to reach their full potential and achieve more. For more information about United Way of East TN Highlands, please visit

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