United Way doles out 2006 funding

By Andy Jackson

The United Way of Eastern New Mexico gave its largest allocations to the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico in Curry County and to the Shelter for Victims of Domestic Abuse in Roosevelt County.

Funding for nonprofit programs in Curry County remained near 2005’s level, while Roosevelt County’s rose almost 40 percent from a year ago.

The allocations were approved at the March 10 board meeting. Agency checks went out last week, and included payments for January, February and March, according to Erinn Burch, United Way executive director.

In Curry County, 55 percent of the more than $262,000 allocated by United Way of Eastern New Mexico went to priority crisis intervention programs, such as those operated by the Food Bank and the American Red Cross.

In Roosevelt County, programs aimed at increasing self-sufficiency, such as the Roosevelt County Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, received 43 percent of the $48,530 allocated.

The United Way placed different emphasis on four program areas in determining funding, according to Burch.
Funding was based on priorities set by donors and United Way volunteers, Burch said.

Volunteers heard detailed requests from agencies, then prioritized them. United Way board members reviewed the requests and made a final funding determination, Burch said.

Conquistador Council of the Boy Scouts of America received less than 50 percent of the funding it did last year. It is the biggest cut Scott Kilian has seen in the six years he’s been the Boy Scouts’ executive director, he said. For Roosevelt County, the Boy Scouts’ allocation was cut in half from 2005, to $1,000.

“This is a very competitive process, and it has to be,” Burch said. “We don’t have enough money to give everyone what they want,” she said.

For the Boy Scouts, this year’s allocation will fund traditional programs in both counties that Kilian said will include camps and scholarships.

“We are disappointed that we didn’t get full (requested) funding, but we’ll use the funds as best we can,” Kilian said.

United Way raised $482,000 in pledges, Burch said, but the funding budget is based on a 6 percent historical loss of pledges. And $102,000 was allocated for United Way administrative and fund-raising expenses.

The 9th Judicial District Family and Children’s Court Services is thrilled with this year’s United Way allocation, according to Angela Price, director of the court appointed special advocate program. Since 2003, the group has received funding increases.

Even though the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico received the highest allocation of more than $50,000 in Curry County and another $4,000 in Roosevelt County, it still received less than last year, according to Nancy Taylor, food bank executive director.

Taylor said she is grateful for United Way because it is the food bank’s top funding source. However, she feels the food bank will take a financial hit this year.

“We won’t be able to have a Saturday program for young people to come in and volunteer,” Taylor said because they won’t have enough paid staff to supervise. And the bank will rely more on canned food drives, rather than bringing food in from associate food banks that are willing to share, she said.

One Curry County program that fared better than a year ago was the Oasis Children’s Advocacy Center, bumped from $15,000 to $21,000. Newly funded in Curry was Habitat for Humanity, which received $16,000, and $7,630 in Roosevelt, a bump from 2005’s $5,500. For Roosevelt, allocations to Roosevelt County Literacy Council rose from $4,500 to $6,000, and doubled to $4,000 for the American Red Cross. Portales Meals on Wheel got a lift from $750 to $1,650, more than its $1,000 request.

Here’s a breakdown of funding allocations for Curry and Roosevelt counties, from the United Way of Eastern New Mexico, according to Executive Director Erinn Burch. Funds are allocated for specific agency programs.

Curry County: $262,181
• Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico: $51,136
• Safe House Shelter — Victims of Domestic Violence: $40,000
• American Red Cross: $28,000
• The Salvation Army: $27,500
• Clovis Meals on Wheels: $26,000
• Oasis Children’s Advocacy Center: $ 21,000
• Habitat for Humanity: $16,000
• 9th Judicial Family and Children’s Court Services: $12,000
• Boy Scouts of America, Conquistador Council: $10,000
• Big Brothers and Big Sisters: $8,000
• Girl Scouts: $6,100
• Clovis Community College: $5,263
• Roosevelt County Community Development Corp.: $5,000
• Friends of Cannon Families: $4,000
• Curry County Literacy Council: $ 2,182

Roosevelt County: $48,530
• Roosevelt County Shelter — Victims of Domestic Violence: $8,000
• Habitat for Humanity: $7,630
• Roosevelt County Literacy Council: $6,000
• American Red Cross: $5,500
• Big Brothers and Big Sisters: $5,000
• 9th Judicial Family and Children’s Court Services: $4,000
• Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico: $4,000
• Roosevelt County Community Development Corp.: $3,000
• Portales Meals on Wheels: $1,650
• Community Services Center: $2,000
• Boy Scouts of America, Conquistador Council: $1,000