Kristy Ortega Among United Way Officials Meeting with Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez, left, with Kristy Ortega, executive director of United Way of Northern New Mexico. Courtesy photo


United Way of Northern New Mexico was among several United Ways of New Mexico Association (UWNMA) members who met with Gov. Susana Martinez Dec. 2 in Santa Fe. The UWNMA gave a presentation outlining the work of the association throughout the state, such as the 2-1-1 Help Line and Tax Help New Mexico, as well as local program highlights.

There are nine members of the UWNMA, representing every county in the state. United Way organizations are independent but are also members of a larger international organization, United Way Worldwide, a leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories.

The UWNMA often collaborates on efforts. This summer, it contributed $23,000 to the American Red Cross in New Mexico to assist with disaster response and recovery efforts following widespread flooding in the state.

Two other programs exist in multiple regions:

  • The 2-1-1 information and referral line offers information on a broad range of services, including rent assistance, food banks, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy, and job training programs. It is tied to the national 2-1-1 phone number.
  • Tax Help New Mexico provides free tax preparation for New Mexico residents with an annual household income of less than $51,000 or who are over the age of 65. In the past three tax seasons, Tax Help New Mexico has received $244,640 in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grants by the IRS. Last year, volunteers prepared and transmitted 33,276 tax returns, generated $19,194,721 in tax refunds and saved clients $4,145,820 in tax preparation fees. United Way of Northern New Mexico plans to explore potential locations for this service in the future. 

United Way of Northern New Mexico offers a fund that delivers resources and investments to a variety of your local non-profits. The Community Action Fund focuses on investing in programs that support financial stability, education, and health. The Community Action Fundallows donors to see their investment at work in their and is  an efficient way to invest in multiple non-profits in one’s community.