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United Way Donor Challenge

By Lisa Jensen
Special to The SUN

Generosity is a habit of giving without expecting anything in return.

We give of our time, money, energy, ideas and talents to help others, or to help animals, the planet or other causes worthy of our support.

Though we expect nothing in return, we do benefit from our own generosity. Giving makes the giver feel happy, connected and optimistic that we are making a positive difference in the world.

Some generous United Way donors have increased their annual donation this year. One donor has issued a challenge to others with the goal of reaching at least the halfway mark early in our campaign. This donor’s gift increased by twenty percent over last year’s contribution because United Way is a worthy cause, and United Way can be relied upon to put the money where it is needed. Non-profit organizations that partner with United Way and receive funding have already proven they are providing solutions to community needs through programs that achieve results. This donor calls on other donors to likewise increase their contributions early in the campaign to ensure success.

United Way’s Archuleta campaign has also recently seen pledges from employees at one workplace more than double over last year, thanks to the generosity of those employees! As December begins, United Way in Archuleta County has reached almost 40 percent of our goal of $77,880.

Pagosa is a very generous community. Nationwide, Americans on average give 4.7 percent of their household income. Coloradans are close to this average, at 4.2 percent. Archuleta County residents, however, give 6 percent of our income to charity.

So many charities, so many good causes. How do you decide where to give your hard-earned dollars?

If you choose to give to United Way of Southwest Colorado in Archuleta County, you can rest assured that the organizations benefiting from your generosity have been thoroughly scrutinized to ensure they operate efficiently, track results and help people who need it most. And, your dollars stay in your community, benefiting people you may know as well as our local economy.

If you would like to make a donation to United Way in Archuleta County, please mail a check to P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or donate through our secure website, www.unitedway-swco.org. You can also help United Way’s partner agencies at no cost to yourself in two other ways:

• Use United Way Dining Certificates when you eat out, from now through March 31, 2014. Certificates are available by calling the local office at 731-0484, or you can pick them up at the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center or Ross Aragon Community Center.

• Visit www.givebackamerica.com. In the “search for a store or charity” box, type in “United Way,” then select “United Way of Southwest Colorado.” From there, you are ready to search for the retailer of your choice. Thousands of retailers are on the site, and each donates a percentage of sales to the charity of your choice. After selecting the store, you will be directed to that company’s website where you shop like usual, but you have to access the store’s website through givebackamerica.com in order for the charity to receive a donation.

Thank you for all you give, of your time, energy and resources. Best wishes throughout this holiday season.

This story was posted on December 5, 2013.