United Way raising money for Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

United Way raising money for Vail Valley

Vail Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – The United Way of Eagle County has worked with over 30 local charities for more than a decade and has raised close to $1.3 million during that time. Most people think of United Way as a national or international organization, but the United Way of Eagle County makes it its mission to keep the funds it raises local – all of the money raised in Eagle County stays in Eagle County. One single donation to the United Way is a powerful way to reach many people in our valley.

Tsu Wolin-Brown, executive director of the Vail Valley Salvation Army, answered questions below about how the United Way of Eagle County helps her organization.

How have The Salvation Army’s donations and grant requests been affected in this economic climate?

We have been forced to spend an average of $400 a week to meet increased demand for the stock we have at the Salvation Army pantry in Edwards. Typically, in past years, we have not had to do that. In many ways though, we have been incredibly fortunate. People in the community have been aware of our needs and have been donating food, money and in-kind goods and services.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Where do you seek grants for the Salvation Army?

We do get a community service grant from Eagle County, so they are really the sole government entity we get funding from. Other than individual donors, we are funded by foundations such as the Anschutz and El Pomar Foundations. El Pomar has made its focus on food, security and homelessness this year – a change the Salvation Army has benefited from. We also get help from Energy Outreach Colorado for those people who come to us needing help paying their utility bills.

Do you apply each year for a grant from The United Way? Were you awarded one this year?

Yes we do apply each year. We were fortunate to get a grant.

What have you been able to accomplish with the grant awarded to you by The United Way of Eagle County?

The United Way grant has helped us with all of our challenges. The need for the variety of services we have is great and becoming greater – we had $80,000 for our budget this year and are over that already. People are needing new living situations, counseling sessions, rent, utilities, food, transportation, dental services, medical services and prescriptions – we have even helped people find jobs.

Does having United Way as a grantor to your organization help you secure grant money from others?

The more we can show that we are supported locally, the more credibility we have in the eyes of other organizations such as the Cordillera Motorcycle Club or the Vail Rotary Club, which gave us funding from its Duck Race this yea – it’s a tremendous help.

To learn more or to donate to the United Way go to http://www.unitedwayeagle.org

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