In life we rely on professional advice in areas we are not immersed with knowledge in. We feel the same should be true for making our community stronger. United Way of Northern New Mexico is actively engaging Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties as well as working directly with each County’s Health Councils to stay current with needs in the region. United Way works to form partnerships and collaborations that pull resources and have them work together to directly address pressing challenges and fill gaps in services our region faces. This is all made possible with investments into the Community Action Fund. United Way Model Infographic
Because of investments made to the Community Action Fund in 2015 so far this year this is how United Way of NNM has made an impact in our community.
- A child has their first role model of healthy adult behavior
- A grandmother has an advocate, a friend, someone to combat loneliness and confusing medication when they have no one else
- A father has help to provide for his family while he is by his son’s side as he undergoes leukemia treatment
- A grandfather struggling with Alzheimer’s is soothed by music from his hay day
- A student challenged with dyslexia caught up to his peers in reading ability
- A high school student has someone to talk to about his frustrations and feelings of giving up.
Thirty-three Organizations Funded Based on Current Needs
This year United Way of NNM focused funding requests around the greatest needs in our community as identified with County Health Councils. Thirty-three organizations were funded in the areas of mental wellness, child development, mentorship and youth support, financial stability, physical health programs, and a portion of capital investment. “The funding process is always difficult because everyone who is applying is doing great things for people. We are excited to work with our partners and to share they stories of how, together, we are helping you, your friends, your neighbors and making your community stronger.” says Kristy Ortega, United Way of NNM Executive Director. Learn more about our Community Partners.
Stories from Community Partners
Emergency vouchers made available for resources needed for someone in need late at night.
Executive Director chaired the 2015 Basic Needs Subcommittee (BNS) of the Los Alamos Health Council. Through this committee many gaps in services in Los Alamos were identified. One such need was the availability of resources during off hours. Such as if a person is a victim of domestic violence at 1 am there were not a lot of immediate options for the victim. The BNS partnered with Self Help, Inc. and the Ministerial Alliance to provide “Emergency Voucher Envelops” to Los Alamos Police Department as they need them. Officers who find someone in the community dealing with homelessness, poverty, mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence in the off hours have the ability to provide food and shelter. Officers are tracking the use of the vouchers to help identify population served by this program.
Behavioral Health Initiative
United Way of Northern New Mexico is starting to focus on behavioral health more and more every year because of overwhelming common thread of many challenges in our community. Behavioral health is a hard topic to discuss with the community but stress is very relatable to most. This was our foot in the door to begin an outreach program in Los Alamos County aimed at raising the awareness of Mental/Behavioral Health Resources while attempting to stop the stigma of getting help.
United Way Days of Action
United Way’s Day of Action is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a variety of challenges. It is a day that we ask community volunteers to engage in activity to help us put our mission into action by improving lives of those in our community.
2016 – United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) partnered with the Los Alamos Retirement Community to rejuvenate an outdoor space for their residents in the dementia unit. The projects included shoveling up weeds and prepping a large area to be tilled and seeded so that the residents will have a level grassy area, laying down, concrete edgers, and sanding/staining benches, tables and chairs.
2015 – Valdez Park Clean Up – United Way of Northern New Mexico partnered with Del Norte Credit Union and the City of Espanola to clean up Valdez Park. Litter and broken lights have been an ongoing struggle with the park. The City of Espanola has had limited resources to devote to the park and Del Norte Credit Union has stepped up to adopt the park for upkeep and investment into the lighting.
2015 – Clean up & Fire Mitigation
In Los Alamos
, United Way of Northern New Mexico Partnered with Los Alamos County, American Legion Post 90 and the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization to help some elderly and physically unable people in our community with a little yard clean up. The projects range from pulling/trimming weeds, filling in holes and trenches, to disposing of debris.
2014 – Born Learning Trail – Urban Park, Los Alamos –
United Way of Northern New Mexico Launched Born Learning Trail to promote early childhood learning and family fun! The Born Learning Trail is a series of learning activities that any adult can play with young children.
Collaboration – Los Alamos County, Metzger’s Do It Best, YMCA YES Corp, and Little Forest Play School
STEM to Read Program Started in RAIL Libraries
Activity backpacks, books, and family learning immerses children in an environment that help them to start looking at the world as Scientist, Engineers, and Mathematicians do. This program is a pilot program that is starting at four nonprofit libraries in Northern New Mexico. The United Way of NNM contributions will be leveraged with funding from the New Mexico State Library and the New Mexico Library Foundation, institutions that have been at the center of promoting and supporting the STEM to Read program in a growing number of libraries across the state. The STEM to Read program partners with organizations such as PEEC and Explora to provide content for children.
All of us want to live in a thriving community, where we can raise our kids in a healthy environment, get good jobs and lead successful lives. Community Action Fund’s focus is on making our community a great place for everyone. Community Action Fund investments stay in our community to tackle the current needs of the community.
Thanks to the community commitments from LANS and LANL. Cornerstone Companies: Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos Medical Center, SOC, Cray Inc., Rio Grande Sun, ReMax of Los Alamos, and JB Henderson. This makes it possible for all of the things above happen and it enables the United Way staff to keep a pulse on the needs of the community and bring needed resources together to address challenges. This also ensures that 100% of your investments to the Community Action Fund is going to impactful programs and services locally.
United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) is a grant making organization dedicated to engaging human and financial resources to help meet the needs in our communities through Education, Financial Stability, and Health. The Community Action Fund benefits local nonprofit organizations serving Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties.