United Way 2013 campaign goal is $77,880


By Lisa Jensen

Special to The SUN

United Way’s fall campaign kicks off Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

United Way makes a positive difference in our community through programs that promote education, healthy lifestyles and self-reliance. United Way’s 2013-2014 campaign goal for Archuleta County is $77,880.

This spring, through United Way’s Community Investment process, a committee of local volunteers spent several days reviewing funding applications and approved funding for programs of thirteen local non-profit agencies. From young to old, United Way works across our community to provide services that would not otherwise be available.

Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center’s Earn While You Learn Program teaches life skills to expecting individuals and to parents. Seeds of Learning’s Toddler Room teaches very young children to cooperate, play independently and learn other skills that carry them throughout their school years and beyond.

Moving through childhood, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ one-to-one mentoring program gives children someone to just be there, and rewards adult mentors with direct positive benefits and fun. Girl Scouts of Colorado offers girls leadership-based programs and activities that promote self-esteem and confidence, life skills, academic skills, healthy lifestyles, team-building and community service. Their aim is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Southwest Conservation Corps engages high school age youth in conservation projects on public lands, where they also learn teamwork, outdoor living and communication skills, and enhanced awareness of the local environment and environmental issues.

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County helps families find safety, security and affordable home ownership by building simple, decent, affordable and energy-efficient homes. Housing Solutions for the Southwest repairs or replaces unsafe heating systems.

In times of crisis, Pagosa Outreach Connection provides financial support to help people remain self-sufficient. American Red Cross gives disaster assistance to families in the event of an emergency, including direct financial support to pay for groceries and clothing, and mental health services. Axis Health System provides an immediate response and point of contact for residents in need of emergency mental and physical healthcare.

Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program’s Court Advocacy Program protects victims of domestic violence and helps them to effectively participate in justice processes. Volunteers of America operates Southwest Safehouse, giving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other violent crimes a safe temporary home and tools to regain hope and change their lives.

San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging streamlines access to long term services and supports for our aging population and their caregivers, and empowers individuals to make informed choices, through the Adult Resources for Care and Help Program (ARCH).

As the campaign kicks off, United Way’s golf tournament raised just over $10,000 in Archuleta County. We invite you to join us in Living United by mailing a check, donating online, or contributing through payroll deductions at your workplace. We ask everyone to consider making a donation in an amount you can afford. Together, all contributions add up to reach our goal. Living United also means volunteering your time and talents, and advocating to improve the condition of everyone in our community.

For more information about United Way or funded programs, contact the local office, generously donated by Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; e-mail lisaj@unitedway-swco.org or call 731-0484. You can mail a donation to P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or donate online at www.unitedway-swco.org, click “GIVE.”