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July 22, 2013
Advancing the common good is about helping one person at a time and changing systems to help all of us. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when individuals are independent and financially stable, and when people are healthy and thriving.
A quality education is essential to obtaining and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits. An income adequate to pay for today's necessities and save for the future will help families become financially stable. And at the most basic level, when the health of a family is stabilized by providing basic needs, like food and shelter, and other critical services, so they can focus on bettering their circumstances instead of day-to-day survival.
We're in the midst of quite a transformation at United Way of Larimer County, a transformation we believe is absolutely essential to meet the challenges we face in this community. We are doing this work to create opportunities for a better life for all people in Larimer County.
Like any organization, United Way can have the greatest impact by being strategic and deliberate in how we work. We are committed to focusing our energies and our resources on areas that will lead to significant, lasting change.
For a building to be stable for the long term, it needs a solid foundation. The same is true in a community. The building blocks for a solid quality of life in a community are education, income and health. By focusing all of our resources in those three areas and coordinating action across sectors, we will make a difference on root causes of social problems, like homelessness and poverty.
With a broadened focus beyond just fundraising, there are many more ways we work together with our partners to help individuals and families in our community succeed. The complete measure of United Way's success is not in the results of our annual fundraising campaign, but in the ways our efforts are impacting the quality of life for all in Larimer County.
So yes, United Way provides funding. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, United Way's total investment in Larimer County nonprofit organizations and programs in our key community impact strategy areas will be $4,405,456.96 for the upcoming 2013-2014 fiscal year. An additional $834,581.87 will be invested in other Larimer County nonprofits outside of the education, income and health focus areas, as specifically designated by our donors. That's more than $5.2 million going to nonprofit organizations and programs in Larimer County through United Way's fundraising efforts.
But the funding only provides part of the picture. United Way also does the critically important but largely invisible work that is required to reach community goals - we engage thousands of volunteers each year, draw together stakeholders to identify goals and collaborate on strategies, unite the community in advocating for change, and get commitments from community leaders. We do all of this to get things done for long-term, sustainable change.
For example, our focus on education has resulted in the Smart Start for Kids initiative. United Way has been working with key stakeholders in Loveland, Fort Collins and Estes Park, including school districts, nonprofit partners, community leaders and volunteers to promote school readiness and early literacy. This work will result in more children being prepared to succeed in both school and life, which will help improve the quality of life for all of us in Larimer County.
In the end, we are advancing the common good and reaching our mutual goals together - by working with dozens of nonprofit agencies, hundreds of companies, and thousands of citizens all across the community.
It takes an entire community to make a difference. Thank you for all you do to LIVE UNITED.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County