Randy Watkins is the chairman of the United Way of Weld County board of directors.

As the new chairman of the board of directors at United Way of Weld County (UWWC), I am extremely honored and excited for what lies ahead for us in the upcoming year.

The strength of any good nonprofit starts with its board of directors. We are most fortunate to have a dynamic and engaging board that provides tremendous leadership and vision. Our newest board members – Julie Cozad, Lori Gama and Steve Moreno – will provide tremendous insight and special talents to UWWC. Former Greeley Mayor Tom Norton joined our board in January, and we’re so fortunate to have them all representing our board.

UWWC continuously works to improve the lives of you and your neighbors in Weld County. Our new collective impact process brings together multiple community partners who are working for a common goal collaborating to assure results and maximize donor contributions.

UWWC is focusing on assisting those Weld County residents who need attention in the areas of Early Childhood, Youth Development, Household Stability and Older Adults/Healthy Aging. We want this work to result in a positive impact on the lives of children, youth, families and older adults facing challenges and crisis in our community.

Our last fiscal year in 2018-19 was so fulfilling as we teamed up with the Greeley-Evans School District 6, AmeriCorps, Colorado Youth for a Change to offer Colorado Reading Corps, a national program that helped students build literacy skills and increase reading proficiency. One-hundred-sixty children, from kindergarten through third grader, participated in the Reading Corps and 62 percent of them exceeded their target growth. We’re so excited to offer this program again this year and increase the tutors from seven to 15 in District 6. If you want to find out more about becoming a tutor, call 1-720-840-1897.

United Way opened the Housing Navigation Center – a collaborative effort with the City of Greeley, Sunrise Community Health and several other Weld County agencies – which will continue to be a place for people to access resources and connect with partner agencies to get back into housing as soon as possible.

UWWC’s Promises for Children continues to address the demand for quality child care opportunities so parents can work, and makes sure parents are being connected to the best resources available so their children will grow up healthy, active and thrive in school.

The UWWC Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement System (CAHPS) will continue to work on housing homeless veterans (320 so far) and chronically homeless households (200 so far) in northern Colorado.

The UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado continues to help you and your neighbors in such categories as rental, utility bills, clothing, transportation, income support and legal/consumer/public safety.

Our youth in Weld County will continue to benefit from the UWWC recreations scholarships.

More than 1,400 people volunteered at UWWC last year. We need you to think of UWWC again this year whether it’s volunteering at Weld Project Connect on Oct. 18, working on hygiene kits and book drives, participating in our annual sock drive or volunteering at Day of Action in June 2020.

We thank all our donors and volunteers. If not for you, we would not exist. Give us a call (970) 353-4300, visit our website www.unitedway-weld.org, like us on Facebook and access the videos of our work on our YouTube channel.

Stop by our office at 814 9th Street in Greeley. We’d love to hear from you.