For 28 years, the Moffat County United Way has asked local community members to tap into their philanthropic side and dip into their pocket books to help fund local non-profit health and human service organizations.
And for 28 years, the community has responded with an overwhelming sense of compassion and charity, United Way Director Corrie Scott said.
"In addition to a number of agencies funded by the United Way, a lot of programs wouldn't exist without United Way money," Scott said.
United Way contributions affect one in every three people in the area, she said.
"Without the generosity of our community, we wouldn't have as strong a community."
Last year, United Way raised a record-setting $415,000 for close to 50 service organizations, surpassing its $385,000 goal. This year, the organization has raised the bar.
The goal for this year's United Way drive, which kicks off Monday and runs through Nov. 17, is an unprecedented $415,000.
"We've never had a goal of $400,000 or more," Scott said. "We're optimistic we will be able to reach that goal."
The employees at Trapper Mine have agreed to be the pacesetters for this year's campaign drive. The company, which raised about $62,500 last year, has targeted a fundraising goal of $75,000 this year.
The campaign drive entails residents setting aside a designated amount of money per pay period to contribute to United Way. Often, companies withdraw designated amounts from the paychecks of employees who choose to contribute.
"When you establish what you can give, it comes out of your payroll and you don't miss it as much," Scott said. "The big plus is that (donations) come in increments that the person feels like they can afford."
According to United Way, 54 cents of every dollar raised goes toward health and humanitarian efforts, 17 cents goes to youth programs, 16 cents goes toward administrative costs, 7 cents to human resources and United Ways and 6 cents for education and prevention.
Organizations receiving the most money last year included the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Crisis Support Services, Horizons, Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Human Services Volunteers.
Carrie Godes, a spokeswoman for the VNA, said contributions such as the United Way's -- last year the United Way gave $40,000 to the VNA -- offset cutbacks in state and federal funding. The pledges are also evidence that the community supports the VNA program.
"Contributions like that are absolutely vital to sustaining the services we offer to the community," Godes said.
To contribute to the United Way, call Scott at 824-6222.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.