Citizens should be commended for United Way aid

By Erinn Burch: Guest columnist

I’d like to thank the citizens of eastern New Mexico.
Looking back at 2005, United Way of Eastern New Mexico reaching its goal this year was a great tribute to the resilience and generosity of people of our area. To all who contributed — thank you.

In the face of the unknown future for Cannon Air Force Base and after reaching out to help the victims of tsunamis and hurricanes, our community still remembered its neighbors-in-need here in Clovis and Portales.

You did not forget that we depend on each other. The children and families in our area who struggle to make a better future for themselves must have moved you to help.

Thank you for increasing your commitment to your neighbors. Employees at numerous businesses dug deep to give more than ever before: Clovis Municipal Schools led the pack with 68 percent of employees contributing more than $61,000 — a 20 percent increase over last year.

Portales schools raised 177 percent more than in the past by adding 68 givers.

Employees at businesses across Curry and Roosevelt counties contributed more than $313,000, or 65 percent of the funds raised.

Thank you for giving from the heart.

Thank you to all for believing in United Way of Eastern New Mexico. You have shown that you believe in the bold steps taken by the Board of Directors over the last four years.
You believe in United Way because your donation goes toward community programs and not administrative expense. You believe because you can see where your donation is making a difference since agencies must apply for funds program by program and must answer to donors. You believe because you know that when Roosevelt and Curry counties work together it is in the best interest of the families in our area.

Looking forward to 2006, we hope that we can say thank you for your support for the new projects on the horizon at United Way. Those projects include:

• Day of Caring — a community-wide volunteer opportunity;

• Winterization Project — helping families and the elderly lower their utility bills;

• Community Endowment — investing in the future of our area;

• Discount Prescription Cards — a savings program for middle-income families without prescription benefits;

• Non-Profit Management Academy — training for staff and board members of local non-profits reaching for excellence.
United Way of Eastern New Mexico board members, staff and volunteers work hard every day to bring more resources to our community and neighbors and we thank our community for making that work possible.

Erinn Burch is executive director of United Way of Eastern New Mexico. Contact her at 769-2103 or by e-mail:
unitedway@plateautel.net