Moffat County United Way continues to give to nonprofits | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County United Way continues to give to nonprofits

2015 campaign kicked off Monday

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Steve Martin, Corrie Ponikvar, Jennifer Riley and Amanda Arnold proudly support Moffat County United Way and are giving their time to make sure the 2015 United Way campaign is a success. The goal is to raise $450,000 for the organization that will distribute the money to dozens of nonprofits in Moffat County.

— The act of giving is one of the most powerful ways to contribute to someone in need, and Moffat County United Way provides a pathway for community members to give back to society.

Through donations, the nonprofit organization distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to dozens of other nonprofits in Moffat County each year. The 2015 campaign started Monday and runs through Nov. 21, with the funds brought in during this period going toward nonprofits next year.

The total dollar amount that United Way has contributed to the Craig and Moffat County community throughout the years is in the millions.

"We have been campaigning for 37 years and have raised over $8.5 million," Moffat County United Way Executive Director Corrie Ponikvar told a large group at a luncheon at Carelli's on Tuesday.

United Way has helped boost the bottom lines of nonprofits in the community, aiding them in helping those in need.

"We fund a lot of agencies that support residents in Moffat County from birth to seniors," Ponikvar said. "It provides a good, stable foundation in a community."

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The 2015 campaign pacesetter is Xcel Energy, and other major contributors include Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Trapper Mining Inc., Colowyo Coal Co., Twentymile Coal Co. and The Memorial Hospital, to name a few. All those companies have employees that also donate money, and often, businesses will match employee contributions.

"Foundation and state money is not as plentiful as it used to be in the past, so (United Way money) helps sustain (nonprofit) agencies," Ponikvar said. "We still have a segment of the population that is having a rough time. We have families that are working two or three part-time jobs, and part-time jobs don't pay as well."

The goal for the 2015 campaign is to raise $450,000, which will be distributed to more than 50 nonprofits in Moffat County.

"In our really busy lives, especially if we have a good job, life is pretty good for us. We forget that there are people out there that don't have the best lives," Ponikvar said. "They're stressed about their bills … and sometimes, they feel like they don't have any hope. That's the reality."

But with the help of local nonprofits, hope continues to shine in the community.

Moffat County has about 1,780 people who live below the poverty level, said Amanda Arnold, who is in charge of Bridges Out of Poverty, a nonprofit that provides education to those who need to get ahead.

"When they graduate from the program, they have a plan on how they're going to transition out of poverty," Arnold said.

The money individuals and corporations give is vitally important to the life of local nonprofits.

"I joined United Way last year because I think the work that we're able to facilitate is important," said Jennifer Riley, who is the 2015 campaign chair.

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.