Nonprofits appreciate United Way |

Nonprofits appreciate United Way

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

RIFLE – You really want to give money to some local charities, but your budget won’t allow you to give to all of them. Besides, you’re having trouble deciding which groups most need your help. What do you do?

The United Way of Garfield County has a way out of the maze. Now in its 21st year, the county’s regional branch accepts funding on behalf of 20 different local nonprofit groups, and distributes that money through grants.

Executive director Leslie Robinson, headquartered in Rifle, said the local United Way runs its annual fund-raising campaign concurrent with the national United Way’s campaign.

“Traditionally, September and October are the months for our main campaign,” Robinson said.

That works out well for Robinson, who is currently hitting the pavement, going door to door visiting merchants and businesses about their contributions.

“I just visited the Payless shoe store in the Glenwood Mall,” she said. “Their parent office had already sent them information about setting up United Way payroll deductions. Both local and national companies with businesses here can contribute and have their money stay right here in Garfield County.”

Robinson said United Way’s payroll deduction program is one of the best ways for people to contribute.

“Many local businesses offer this to their employees,” she said. “It’s really an easy way to contribute.”

The Advocate Safehouse Project is one of the local agencies that receives funding from the local United Way. Executive director Julie Olson said the payroll deduction program is a great way to give.

“It’s a wonderful way to contribute,” Olson said. “If you donate just $10 a month to United Way, that’s $120 a year. That’s a lot if you sit down and write one big check, but in small doses, it’s painless.”

Michele Wurtsmith, marketing manager for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, agrees. She serves on the Garfield County United Way’s board of directors.

“You don’t even miss it when the money comes out of your paycheck,” she said. “Plus it’s all tax deductible.”

Debbie Wilde, executive director of YouthZone, says with the state and federal cuts hitting nonprofits now more than ever, United Way funding is critical to service agencies.

“We are so appreciative of the money we receive from United Way,” she said. “In many cases, that money is the difference between continuing to offer one of our programs or eliminating it.”

Besides encouraging local businesses and their employees to enroll in United Way’s payroll deduction program, Robinson has scheduled two upcoming events to generate interest – and money for the United Way campaign.

The first fund-raiser will be at the grand opening of the new Super Wal-Mart in Rifle, all day on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

And the second fund-raiser, “United Way Day,” will be held at the Glenwood Springs Mall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Both events will feature local agencies that receive funding from United Way, and opportunities to give.

For more information, contact Leslie Robinson at 625-8189. Contributions may be sent to the United Way of Garfield County, P.O. Box 1406, Rifle, CO 81650.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Advocate Safehouse Project, Boy Scouts of America of the Western Colorado Council, Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council.

Catholic Charities, CMC Senior and Disabled Transportation Program, Colorado West Counseling Services, Colorado West Recovery Center, Family Visitor Program.

Garfield Legal Services, Healthy Beginnings, LIFT-UP, Literacy Outreach, Mountain Valley Developmental Services, Planned Parenthood – Glenwood Springs Health Center.

Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, RSVP, The Salvation Army, Sopris Therapy Services, YouthZone and Garfield County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.

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