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United Way sets 2013 goal of $500,000
• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) — Volunteers prepare tax returns without charge. This year the program will start Feb. 2. The agency's goal is that taxpayers keep as much money as they can, so they can save money and pay off debt, while avoiding predatory lending businesses that charge “huge” fees and other costs.
• Dolly Parton's Imagination Library — The program provides free books to children ages birth to 5 years at their homes. There is no income requirement. Parents can call United Way of Yuma County to sign up.
• FamilyWize — The program offers a free card that allows users a discount of up to 75 percent on prescription medicine.
• Read On Yuma — As part of larger cohort, the agency works with parents, teachers and legislators to ensure all children are literacy-proficient by the end of third grade.
United Way of Yuma County is inviting the community to join its effort in confronting a “record need with record enthusiasm” in 2013.
Madeleine Coil, UWYC president and CEO, highlighted the “record need” in Yuma County: an unemployment rate of nearly 30 percent, less than half of high school graduates qualify for admission into Arizona's public universities, and 36,955 residents who need health insurance assistance.
UWYC is a local organization, governed by a local volunteer board, that leverages community contributions to address various issues and needs in Yuma County.
Last year UWYC raised $350,000 in community contributions, which together with grants and other sources provided the agency with a $500,000 budget. This year the agency set a contribution goal of $500,000.
A large part of those contributions are expected to come through the agency's workplace campaign. In Yuma County, more than 100 businesses participate in the campaign every year.
Andrea Bereznak, chairman of the marketing committee, said United Way “opened my eyes to the power of a community.”
Hence the organization's motto: “Live United ... Reach out a hand to one and influence the condition of all.”
She pointed out that there are different ways to get involved: volunteering, direct contributions and hosting a workplace campaign.
Tyrone P. Jones, owner of The Coffee Bean and member of the UWYC Allocation Committee, said he didn't realize the impact UWYC had in the community until he visited some of the local programs supported by United Way, such as the Yuma Community Food Bank, and was impressed by what it was doing.
“It gave me a sense of comfort” that the agency's support helps those who need it the most, Jones said.
He encouraged community members to “do your part ... It's always good to do good for others.”
Ricky Rinehart, the city of Yuma's operations administrator, surrounded by a bevy of the city's liaison committee members for United Way, also encouraged the community's participation in the new campaign. He pointed out that United Way promotes health, financial stability and education.
For more information, call United Way at 783-0515.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.
Ricky Rinehart, the city's operations administrator, surrounded by a bevy of the city's liaison committee members for United Way at a City Hall press conference Wednesday, encouraged the community's participation in the new United Way campaign. The organization has set a goal of raising $500,000 in community contributions this year.
Madeleine Coil, president and CEO of United Way of Yuma County, announces the organization's goal of $500,000 for its 2013 campaign. She especially encouraged workplaces to join the effort at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall.