LANL Helps Raise United Way’s Thermometer

From left, LANL Community Programs Office Executive Director Kurt Steinhaus, UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega  and LANL Principle Associate Director Allen Bishop raise the thermometer this morning in front of the downtown Los Alamos Post Office. Photo by Chris Clark/

If you work for Los Alamos National Labratory (LANL) you are probably aware that LANL and United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) work together to raise money for nonprofits through LANL’s Employee Giving Campaign. 

What you may not know is that there is more to this partnership than just working together on a fundraising campaign. UWNNM and LANL are committed to making a better quality of life for residents in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties. Through a community investment from Los Alamos National Security (LANS) United Way is able to work with and support other nonprofits on pressing challenges in the areas of education, financial stability, and health in our community. 

“We are able to actively work on boards, collaborating with other organizations and bringing in more resources to tackle needs in our communities because of LANS’s community investment.” UWNNM Executive Director Kristy Ortega said. “LANL is the largest employer in the region and we can not thank them enough for their commitment to making Northern New Mexico a great place to live.”

LANS goes as far as to invest $1 million to match a portion of LANL employee donations to the nonprofits of their choice. This year, LANL employees pledged a record $2.17 million to nonprofits around the world. With the help of LANL Community Programs Office, United Way of NNM received $241,369 of those pledges from LANL employees for the Community Action Fund. LANL accounts for about half of the funds raised this year for the Community Action Fund.  

“We really couldn’t raise the funds we do or impact the amount of residents in Northern New Mexico without the support of LANL and LANS.” UWNNM Marketing Assistant Jeremy Varela said. “I have seen many success stories because of the support of LANL​ and LANS​. With the help from the Community Programs Office, we have been able to share those stories and bring awareness of organizations and programs to the people who need them.”

This year nonprofits have reported an estimated 18 percent of the population in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba have been provided services in education, financial stability, and health through the United Way’s Community Action Fund. ​

Through employee giving, community investment and the partnership with United Way of Northern New Mexico, LANL and LANS are ​one of the reasons our nonprofits are growing stronger and tackling the pressing needs residents are facing in Northern New Mexico.

If you are looking to make a difference in your community, now is a great time to make a year-end tax-deductible donation to a nonprofit in your community. ​

To make a contribution to United Way of Northern New Mexico’s Community Action fund, visit or call 505.662.0800. One hundred percent of your donation will go to support a nonprofit or program in your community.