Kiwanis Club members hear presentation on United Way

The Pagosa Kiwanis Club welcomed its weekly presenter, Cherlyn Gwin, a member of the Archuleta County Advisory Council.  She shared information about United Way of Archuleta County, a subsidy of United Way of Southwest Colorado.  The Advisory Council is a working board of volunteers determined to bring much-needed assistance to the citizens of our county.

 All monies received and dispersed by United Way come through donations.  Last year, Archuleta’s United Way received $70,000.  The goal this year is $100,000.  United Way representatives realize this will be quite a challenge, due to the declining economy, but are counting on the continued generosity of this community to realize their goal.  All money raised in Archuleta County goes only to individuals and agencies in this county.

 Those requesting funds from United Way must submit a grant application.  Currently, Archuleta’s United Way funds 15 agencies.  Only those applications, which are specific and in line with the Archuleta United Way’s direct impact areas are considered.  These include:

• Helping children and youth succeed, such as through Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  BBBS receives nearly a third of the total grant funding.

• Fostering health and welfare by providing resources for dental, medical and psychological needs.

• Developing self-sufficiency and independence for those in need, from children to senior citizens

• Supporting vulnerable and aging populations, including victim’s assistance programs such as those providing assistance in cases of spousal abuse and providing court advocates.

• Responding to those in crisis, from helping individuals to work with area disasters requiring the Red Cross.

Some of the creative ways of raising funds and donations for the local United Way include, “Party Around Pagosa,” where community members host a special dinner at their home for their friends (new and old) and family.  The guests contribute a specified donation to the United Way to attend the function.

 “Breakfast with Santa” is another fun, fund-raising event.  This year’s event will take place at the community center on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m.  Children will participate in hands-on activities, taking home some of their creations.  Santa will receive a special wish list from each child.  The cost of the event will be $30 for one parent and child, plus $15 for each additional child.  United Way is hoping to offer scholarships this year for those families that cannot afford to bring their children to this holiday event.

 Supporting the United Way is a great way to give back to our community.  For further information on the Archuleta County United Way, contact Karen Davison, community relations coordinator, at karend@unitedway-swco.org or phone her at 264-1215.