United Way of Eagle River Valley Announces 2014 Local Grant Recipients

Aug/01/14 - Source: United Way

August 2014 - United Way of Eagle River Valley is pleased to announce the 2014 grant recipients. Over $120,000 was awarded to help fund local community-based human and health service organizations. These organizations share with United Way the fundamental belief that education, income, and health are essential for a better life.

"This year, we reached out to 53 local charities and programs that provide services in these core areas of need," said John Genova, President of United Way. "After a comprehensive application and interview process, grants were awarded to 30 organizations, eight of which are first time recipients."

One of these first time recipients is the Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund who is a local organization that provides interest free loans to low-to-moderate income Eagle County residents. Generally, their clients have had financial setbacks or face unmet financial hardships and do not qualify for conventional loans or assistance programs. "One of the things that impressed us about this organization is they provide constructive financial assistance from a revolving fund enabling recipients to continue to be productive, self-sufficient community members ," said Lisa Stoffel, a United Way board member.

"The United Way grant will help us sustain Small Champion’s sports and recreation programs for children in Eagle County with disabilities," said John Weiss, Small Champion's Coordinator. "Their donation will allow more children with cognitive and physical disabilities in Eagle County to enjoy the mountains in their own backyard."

The Bright Future Foundation is another organization that the United Way Eagle River Valley is supporting. “We are enormously grateful to the generosity of the United Way of Eagle River Valley. The funding we receive from UWERV will enable us to provide food, shelter and compassionate care to over 600 women and children victims of domestic violence and sexual assault this year alone. Additionally, the funds will assist with our youth violence prevention efforts, namely the Buddy Mentor and EmpowerMENt programs. Our community to so fortunate to have a strong United Way board fundraising on behalf of nonprofits in the Eagle River Valley,” said Sheri Mintz, Executive Director of the Bright Future Foundation.

The Early Childhood Network is another first time grant recipient. “With the $4,500 we received from United Way of the Eagle River Valley, we are able to help non-profit childcare centers bring technology and business practices to their programs with an on-line childcare management and shared services initiate called the Early Learning Ventures. We strive to strengthen the child care industry by helping providers share administrative services yet remain small, independent and of the highest quality possible,” said Jonathan Godes, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Network.

The funded programs align with the priorities identified by the United Way all volunteer board. These priorities included programs that focused on early learning, after school programs, family skill building and support; affordable housing, emergency services, health gaps for the uninsured and underinsured, support to victims of crime and creating an aging friendly community.

“This was the first time I’d participated in the grants review process,” said Tyra Rudrud, a co-owner of Sonnenalp Real Estate. “As a board member, I saw firsthand how much time and effort goes into these decisions. Every program and agency, whether or not they were funded last year, was reviewed very closely. In fact, nine agencies who received grants last year will not receive grants in 2014. By constantly assessing local needs and services and adjusting our grant investments accordingly, you can think of our United Way being your mutual fund of charitable giving here in the Valley.”

“Being a grant recipient of the United Way of the Eagle River Valley not only helps us fund our programs, but it gives us credibility with other funders, who realize just how thoroughly the review process is conducted. We are deeply grateful for this partnership,” said Tsu Wolin-Brown, Executive Director of the Vail Valley Salvation Army.

The local agencies programs who received a United Way grant this year are:

Salvation Army of Vail, Small Champions, Speak Up Reach Out, VPAC Stars, CASA of Continental Divide, Bright Future Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund, Eagle County Smiles, Early Childhood Network, Early Childhood Partners, River Bridge Regional Center, SOS Outreach, Family Learning Center, Walking Mountains - Girls in Science, Samaritan Center of The Rockies, Literacy Project - Raising A Reader, Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Mountain Family Health, Mountain Valley Developmental Services, Red Ribbon Project - Youth Skills Program, Can Do MS, Second Wind Fund, Literacy Project - Eyeglasses, Vail Jazz - Jazz Goes to School, Eagle River Youth Coalition - Survey Only, Betty Ford Alpine Garden HT Senior Therapy Program, Wild West Days and Starting Hearts.
One single donation to The United Way of Eagle River Valley goes a long way to help many people in need, right here in Eagle County.

About the United Way of Eagle River Valley

The United Way of Eagle River Valley was established in 1994 and is a community convener that mobilizes local businesses, county-based charities, community residents, leaders and public officials to create new and expanded opportunities to help our neighbors in need. Specific focus areas are improving education and reducing the number of school drop-outs, helping people get on the road to financial stability and promoting healthy lives and reducing risky behaviors. The all-volunteer board and one part time Director raise funds to provide a valuable grant resource for many local non-profits. They do not duplicate services, but rather support the great work already being done by these agencies. Without this grant money, many programs would not be as effective or may not exist. For more information or to donate, please visit www.unitedwayeagle.org or Facebook at UnitedWayEagle. You may also write at PO Box 4153; Edwards, CO 81632 or call Karen Lechner, Executive Director, at 970-926-1667.