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United Way campaign addresses children’s needs

Representatives from local groups such as The Bridge, Montelores Early Childhood Council and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe met with the United Way at First National Bank in Cortez last week.

The United Way of Southwest Colorado is gearing up for a collaborative campaign to focus on success for kids in the region “from cradle to career,” board president Jay Wood said.

United Way officials met with area business and nonprofit leaders Tuesday at First National Bank in Cortez to thank those who have been involved with the organization’s community efforts and to kick off a new campaign. The goal is to raise $91,000 for Montezuma and Dolores counties, United Way CEO Lynn Urban said.

The organization also is researching a “collective impact” effort that would bring multiple agencies and organizations together to address big, systemic issues such as poverty and housing, Wood said.

“That process involves everybody with the idea of doing something really big,” Wood said. “We’re having entities come together with a shared vision.”

United Way is facilitating the initiative, and they have secured funding to research it over the next year, Urban said. United Way usually works with other aid agencies in the region to help them achieve their individual goals. Under the collective impact model, agencies give up pieces of their individual agendas in favor of larger community goals, she said.

“We’re all sitting down talking about the progress we’re making,” Urban said.

Wood said larger organizations, such as the Gates Foundation, that can large, significant financial contributions like to see the big picture. If many different agencies are on board for a singular vision, it puts United Way in a better position to go for those big contributions, he said.

Wood hopes that United Way can set goals for where they want to be in two, five and ten years.

Urban said collaboration is important to improve life for kids in the region.

“We want a bigger bang for our buck,” Urban said. “The only way to do that is to work together.”

For more information, visit www.unitedway-swco.org.

Sep 20, 2016
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