At its heart, United Way of Weld County is an example of how good things can change the world. United Way of Weld County was founded in 1940 as Greeley Community Chest and in 1970 changed the name to United Way of Weld County. For over 80 years, this organization has impacted thousands of people in Weld County. Its mission statement: to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

One organization cannot bring about lasting change. That is why United Way of Weld County brings together agencies, organizations, government, citizens to collectively impact our communities. This is a change organization, an innovator and problem-solving body. United Way fights for the health, education and household stability of everyone in our community.

I support my local United Way in Weld County in a variety of ways – as a member of the board of directors, by serving as the chairman of resource development, and by engaging in United Way activities like preparing and serving meals at the United Way of Weld County Housing Navigation Center cold weather shelter. I have watched the organization look at a community problem, gather experts and community members and develop a problem-solving plan for families experiencing homelessness, for children who cannot read, for youth to succeed, for seniors to age in place and more. Success can only be defined if the problem has a solution and goal. United Way of Weld County works to bring multiple players together.

At a time of year when every retailer and advertiser is encouraging us to buy, buy, buy, we should also be encouraged to give. Your local United Way of Weld County needs your gift. Be generous and support your community. You can choose to direct your gift to a specific initiative such as Promises for Children, Weld’s Way Home or to the Community Impact Fund. Or you can direct your contribution to a specific program or agency.

This holiday season, I encourage you to do one good thing. Give – make a donation. Volunteer your time and talent. Spread the word on the great job our United Way is doing on social media by sharing this message. Join us in making Weld County a better place to live and work. Join us in making Weld County the most generous county in Colorado. Join us and lend a hand.

Remember – “Giving is not just about giving a donation. It is about making a difference.” – Kathy Calvin

Please consider making a year-end donation today, click here or mail your check payable to UWWC to: P.O. Box 1944, Greeley, CO 80632.

Justin Martinez is a Weld County native raised in Ault. He is a board member for United Way of Weld County and a State Farm agent.