Need is great as United Way drive kicks off |

Need is great as United Way drive kicks off

Kay Vasilakis
Special to the Post Independent

United Way’s annual fund-raising drive starts in mid-September.

“By helping others, you make your community a better place for your family, your friends and all of us. It is the right thing to do,” said executive director Leslie Robinson.

Locally, United Way of Garfield County helps supply funds to 20 agencies that assist those in need. One hundred percent of your donation stays in Garfield County.

Garfield County is the 83rd fastest growing county in the United States, and the demand on local human services has risen dramatically. Financial support from state and federal funds has been drastically slashed and many needs may go unmet unless you “Choose to Care.”

United Way is an organization of donors, community volunteers and member agencies working together to address the health, human service, and safety requirements for the community.

By working together to assess insufficiencies and to plan services, United Way helps your community focus its resources to meet priorities and avoid duplicating services.

Most employers in Garfield County will help you set up a payroll deduction. You decide how much you would like to give on a monthly basis, and that amount is deducted from your paycheck.

Each United Way community is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers. The local United Way of Garfield County is in its 22nd year. United Way is a nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

United Way of Garfield County paid less than $250 to United Way of America for use of the national logo. This allows the local chapter to be part of the network of United Ways across America that sends contributions to Garfield County from non-Colorado-based businesses and employees.

Contributions raised in the 2003-04 campaign will be distributed in 2004. In January, volunteers will review agency requests, assess community needs and determine how to distribute funds. That way, donors know their money is serving the most pressing community issues and reaching the people who are most in need.

Each group receiving funds must be a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity governed by volunteers, and must submit an annual financial statement, provide services at a reasonable cost and maintain a policy of nondiscrimination.

The board of directors for United Way of Garfield County has identified three goal levels: sustainable, attainable and challenge.

The sustainable goal of $175,000 in support to agencies will be limited, and would not offset the loss of funds from state and federal sources.

When the attainable goal of $250,000 is reached, assistance to agencies would almost double. This increase in financial aid could help some agencies retain current programs.

At the challenge goal level of $350,000, the financial support to agencies could offset most of the government cuts, preserve many special agency programs and meet most of the demands of a growing county.

– Kay Vasilakis’ column, “Nonprofit Spotlight,” appears every other Monday. For news tips and inspirations, call 984-2308 or e-mail to

Executive director: Leslie Robinson

Phone: 625-8189

Theme for this year’s annual drive: Choose to Care: Donating is the Right Thing to Do.

Ways to donate: Payroll deduction, cash, check, in-kind contributions, working cars

United Way Agencies: Advocate Safehouse, Garfield Legal Services, Sopris Therapy Services, Boy Scouts Western Council, Healthy Beginnings, YouthZone, Chipeta Girl Scouts, LIFT-UP, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Literacy Outreach, CMC – The Traveler, Mountain Valley Developmental Services, Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center, Planned Parenthood, RSVP, Family Resource Center, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters)

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