By CINDY PADILLA
Charitable nonprofits embody the best of America. They provide a way for people to work together for the common good, transforming shared beliefs and hopes into action. They give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblest causes.
America’s 1.3 million charitable nonprofits feed, heal, shelter, educate, inspire, enlighten, and nurture people of every age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status, from coast to coast, border to border, and beyond. They foster civic engagement and leadership, drive economic growth, and strengthen the fabric of our communities. Every single day.[i]
Incorporated in 1954 as the “Community Chest of Los Alamos”, the United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) has provided nonprofit leadership, funding support and community organization in northern New Mexico for more than 66 years! Curious if the members of the original Board of Directors imagined their community focused efforts would lay the foundation for millions of dollars to be distributed to so many organizations whose work is to “feed, heal, shelter, educate, inspire, enlighten, and nurture people of every age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status, from coast to coast, border to border”.
The mission of the United Way of Northern New Mexico is a simple one: Working in a UNITED WAY to improve the lives of children and families through service and collaboration in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties. United Way of Northern New Mexico is a service organization that works with integrity and ethics to foster collaboration, ensure inclusivity, respect and generosity while honoring family, tradition, and culture.
The year 2020 will undoubtedly stand out in the history of the world as a year unlike many others. To say the least, the events of 2020 have challenged the very fabric of current day society. And through it all we stand together as a resilient and resolute community.
We at the United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to ask for a time out… A time out from the fear of uncertainty … a time out from the anger of hatred and racism … a time out from the divisive rhetoric that permeates the news channels and threatens our trust in government… And a time out from the negative and constant attacks on our mental and physical health.
We at the United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to step in and offer our gratitude to the countless people who each and every day continue their work creating equitable, healthy and thriving communities. We wish to thank those of you on the front lines facing down a global pandemic, those of you who continue to serve in our military and local law enforcement, those of you who work each and every day keeping our environment clean and safe – picking up trash and cleaning hospital rooms and bathrooms – those of you who work in small businesses as you struggle to keep your doors open, those of you whose work goes unnoticed until you are not there, and those of you who labor to report on the truth and see the value of the work that keeps us all going. We at the United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to say thank you to all of you who continue to give to support the work of our countless nonprofit organizations through your generous donations.
We also wanted to take a time out to assure our community that we at UWNNM and the dozens of nonprofit organizations we fund, have not taken a time out. UWNNM, and our partners, have continued to work hard to focus on their missions of nutrition, behavioral health, public health, housing, social supports, transportation, caregiving, and their work building and supporting community.
Over these past several months, UWNNM has continued its work in the following areas:
- Provides funding to over 20 nonprofit organizations throughout Los Alamos and Rio Arriba County – supporting organizations like the YMCA, Rio Arriba Adult Literacy, Northern Youth Project, San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen, Self Help, LA Family Council and so many others;
- Supporting a complete Census Count, especially in Rio Arriba County;
- Building capacity and strengthening our nonprofit organizations by hosting zoom conferences, distributing information (CARES Act Funding and Payroll Protection Program), and coordinating local efforts to support collaboration;
- Developing and updating the UWNNM nonprofit directory;
- Collaborating with the Los Alamos Community Foundation and other Funders to create a COVID Emergency Response Fund and distribute funds to local nonprofits; and
- Collaborating with the Los Alamos Community Foundation to develop a new training strategy for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 designed to build nonprofit capacity and strengthen networks and collaboration.
The National Council of Nonprofits reminds us that “Nonprofits play a fundamental role in creating more equitable and thriving communities. And nonprofits can do even more by coming together to protect both their legacy and their indispensable role in America’s future.”
UWNNM is committed to being that vehicle to convene, inspire and empower our many partners. This is our work and our mission. We are committed to facing the future together and we know that through our community resilience we will build stronger communities and people.
We at United Way of Northern New Mexico would simply like to say thank you for your continued community support and generosity of heart!
[i] Nonprofit Impact Matters: How America’s Charitable Nonprofits Strengthen Communities and Impact Lives. National Council of Nonprofits.