Good News Network April 2019

Right now, United Way of Tucson is preparing for one of the biggest events of the year. The Circle of Excellence Luncheon is happening Wednesday, May 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort . It's a time for us to honor and celebrate you, our valued business and community partners. Enjoy lunch during a lively award ceremony where companies of all sizes are recognized for their excellent service and effort. This year's theme is "I love Tucson" and there will be activities including a photo booth and raffle. There are still sponsorship opportunities available. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
Tucson lost one of its biggest champions last month. We honor the life of Don Diamond for his generous spirit and the positive impact made throughout our region on behalf of United Way and Early Childhood Education. Don Diamond and his family's generosity will be felt for generations to come.  Click here  to read about the life and legacy of Don Diamond. Click the video to see how his impact will be felt for years to come.
Haven't filed your taxes yet? If you made less than $66,000 last year, you can still file for free, but you have to act fast. United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has trained volunteers on hand to get you the absolute highest return, utilizing every available tax credit and deduction. There are three easy ways to file but time is running out. Click here to find the right one for you. Or join us on April 15th for the Filing Finale from 10 a.m. to midnight  at the United Way Office.  
You still have time to benefit from your donation to United Way with the AZ Charitable Tax Credit. When you target your donation to Helping the Working Poor, you can get a dollar-for-dollar credit on your Arizona State Income Tax Return, up to $400 for an individual and $800 if filing jointly. You have until April 15, 2019 or the date you file your 2018 tax return to make a credit-eligible contribution. Funds raised provide job-skill training, affordable child care, educational opportunities, emergency services and more to the working poor in our community. Click here to donate today!
Each month, we love introducing you to local champions who demonstrate what it means to LIVE UNITED. United Way Board member Linda Drake, does just that and then some. Linda received a Master’s in Communications at Ohio State where she met her rocket scientist husband. The couple has two sons, two grandsons and a new granddaughter. Linda is an entrepreneur whose trajectory took her through IBM, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and what is now JPMorgan Chase. She opened a national customer service company that grew into a global company, employing 10,000 people. Linda later sold the company and reignited her passion for facilitating others' success by becoming a certified executive coach with Trailblazer Business Advisors. Linda displays her passion for helping people by consistently going above and beyond for Southern Arizona with her 3 years of work on the United Way of Tucson board. Here's a little more about Linda Drake:
When and why did you choose to get involved with United Way?
Many years ago, I was asked to join the Board of United Way of Delaware. I ended up serving for 12 years!  No other organization touches the multitude of lives of those in need in the community than United Way. I also love the flexibility to assist those in need. A perfect example was our ability to assist federal employees who were forced to live without a paycheck for 1 month during the government shutdown. Our United Way invested $25,000 to help local federal employees pay for their mortgages, rents and other necessities. Lastly, I have always had a tremendous respect for the dedication of United Way Board Members. Company leaders in their own right, they devote countless hours, not just to policy oversight, but they also participate fully in fundraising and events. Their wisdom, leadership, devotion, and generosity foster phenomenal philanthropic experiences.
What makes United Way of Tucson such a special organization?
The Mission. UWTSA truly unites people, ideas, and resources across the whole community and provides support from Cradle to Career to End of Life. I can’t think of endeavors that are more consequential and worthwhile. The Leadership. I have served on innumerable nonprofit boards, but UWTSA is clearly one of the most outstanding. True leadership starts at the top. I have a profound amount of respect for Tony Penn who is engaged with every aspect of our community. He is a deep thinker, demonstrates outstanding financial acumen, and he is a person of discipline and integrity. He cares about all of humanity and all his decisions are based upon creating a greater good. The Staff. In the years that I have served this fine nonprofit, I have observed a cohesive staff that is engaged and aligned with our mission. 
What do you love most about Tucson?
What is not to love? The people. Our community as a whole is extremely generous in giving time, talent and resources. We think collectively and act genuinely with mutual support. The environment. The beauty of Tucson is unsurpassed in the southwest. Where else can you get the excitement of clear skies and dramatic monsoons, extraordinary mountain vistas, pristine air, and magnificent sunsets, (and yes, a light blanket of magical snow), all in one setting?
How about a little spring cleaning? United Way employees have been inspired by the #Trashtag Challenge in which people are cleaning up their community. Our staff headed down to the nearby wash last month to clean it up! We'll be doing it again this Earth Day, April 20th. We challenge all of our community partners to join us and help beautify this community we love! Follow us on social media and show us your progress by using #trashtag.
Thanks to your kindness and generosity, United Way of Tucson touched more lives than ever last year!  Click here  or on the image to see what your support enabled us and our partners to accomplish in 2018. Here are some highlights:

124,670 people served in Tucson & Southern Arizona
184,972 books given to local children to promote literacy
5,410 adults attended classes to become better parents
$4,218,750 saved by families served at VITA sites
8,961 seniors remained in their homes thanks to supportive services
Help out a great cause and accessorize at the same time! Right now, United Way's Young Leaders Society (YLS) is hosting a fundraiser for Opportunity Youth, young people between 16 and 24 years old who are on a path to re-engaging with their education and career. These Pura Vida bracelets are made by artisans throughout the world who are living in poverty. The donations received for these bracelets not only help us locally, but help the artisans create better lives for themselves and their families. Make a minimum $5 donation to receive a bracelet.   Click here to order your bracelets!
YLS Headshots and Happy Hour Wednesday, April 10th
Join the Young Leaders Society for happy hour and free headshots provided by Jen Bee Photography There are still spots available. Click here for details.
National Healthcare Decisions Week April 15th-23rd
An annual event to inspire and educate the community about End of Life Care planning.  Click here for details.
Tocqueville Society Spring Event Monday, April 22nd
An evening of food, drinks and conversation on the important work our most generous donors are doing in the community at the UA presidential residence hosted by Dr. Robert C. Robbins .
Circle of Excellence Wednesday, May 15th
A day of r ecognition for our workplace campaigns and the generous companies and individuals who help build a thriving community. Click here to RSVP.
My Summer Library April- May
Volunteers distribute free books to children at local schools to promote literacy and mitigate summer learning loss. Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities.
20th Annual United Way Days of Caring Friday, October 25th- Saturday, October 26th
For two days, thousands of volunteers gather to roll up their sleeves to complete dozens of projects to better Tucson. Sponsorship opportunities are now open! Click here for details.

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