Good News Network August 2018

Spread the Word: Days of Caring is Back!

United Way's 19th Annual Days of Caring PSA

Southern Arizona's largest volunteer event is coming up in just two months! United Way's 19th Annual Days of Caring is happening October 19th and 20th. Last year, we teamed up with KOLD News 13 for the first time. With their help, and the help of thousands here in Southern Arizona, we hit a new volunteer record. 4,100 volunteers showed up to roll up their sleeves to help Southern Arizona thrive, one project at a time. We are teaming up with KOLD once again this year, hoping to beat that record. Check out the PSA above. Mark your calendars now. Volunteer registration opens August 28th. Click here for more information. 
Show Southern Arizona You Care

Time is running out to become a United Way Days of Caring sponsor. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to join this generous group of businesses that are showing their commitment, inspiring teamwork and improving our community. There are several sponsorship opportunities available for just about any budget. New this year, small businesses now have a unique opportunity  to make their mark on 70% of the Tucson market. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 15th. Click here for more information about sponsorship opportunities and to apply. 
People Profile: Meet Meredith Bode

One of the faces behind the scenes that helps put United Way's Days of Caring together each year is Meredith Bode. She is our Community Engagement Manager and coordinates all United Way events, co-leads the Young Leaders Society and assists with Marketing efforts including social media. Meredith grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to Tucson to  attend the University of Arizona.  She graduated with a Bachelors in Elementary Education, but decided to pursue a career in nonprofit work. Meredith joined the United Way team in 2015 because she says she was inspired by all the work done to improve our community.  She has two young children, Reese and Nixon, and wants to help create a thriving community for them to grow up in. Here's a little more about Meredith.

What do you think makes Days of Caring such an incredible event?
It is so inspiring to see the community come together to complete so many projects in a couple days.  I love to drive from project to project during Days of Caring and see all the people giving their time to help others.  

What do you love most about what you do?
I love knowing I am truly making a positive impact in my community and dedicating my days to helping others.

What do you love most about Southern Arizona?
Tucson and I didn't fall in love right away, but I have grown to love the beauty of the desert, the smell of the rain, and I love seeing our community find its special place in the world.  It has grown so much since I moved here, and I love the direction it's heading in.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoy working with my coworkers.  I work with so many compassionate, hard-working, dedicated people and I enjoy coming to work every day and being inspired by them. 

Click here to learn more about United Way's Days of Caring or here to connect with Meredith at the next Young Leaders Society event. 
 21,000 Backpacks

21,000 Backpacks

United Way of Southern Arizona focuses on creating a thriving community for everyone from birth until retirement and beyond. That includes one of our major focuses: what we refer to as "opportunity youth." So what exactly does that mean? The United Youth Leadership Council explains and introduces a new and innovative project. Check out the video above to learn and get inspired. Click here to learn more and get involved, then be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates. #thebackpackproject
Become a Leadership Giver

If you're looking for a way to make a real difference in our community, consider becoming a Leadership Giver. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona donors who make annual gifts of $500 or more qualify to be a part of our Leadership Society.  Leadership Givers join a network of philanthropic, business and community leaders in groups such as Young Leaders Society and Women United. Together, they are taking on some of our community's biggest challenges. By joining their influence with United Way's expertise and resources, Leadership Givers get things done. They also enjoy exclusive social events, unique volunteer experiences and a direct line of sight into our work in the community.  Click here to learn more about our Leadership Society.
 Young Leaders Make Major Impact
It was a big year for the Young Leaders Society (YLS). The group wrapped up the fiscal year with some major accomplishments that are making a real difference in lives here in Southern Arizona. Among other accomplishments, YLS:
  • Raised money to fund two smartphones with service for a year for two United Youth Leadership Council members.
  • Donated 100 bus passes, 50 day planners, more than 75 items of professional clothing, 64 pairs of socks, and healthy fast food gift cards to opportunity youth.
  • Held an interactive workshop on workplace norms and interview best practices for youth at the Re-Engagement Center (REC).
  • Volunteered at the Free on Fourth event, which offered free services to youth including a clothing bank, haircuts, HIV testing, and resources available in our community.
YLS is off to a great start for the 2018-2019 year too. The group's Dive Bar Bus Tour last month raised nearly $600 for Youth on the Rise. YLS is now welcoming several new members to its Executive Committee from companies including KOLD, MassMutual, Caterpillar, BeachFleischman, Citi and Comcast. The new group will gather later this month to map out how they'll impact our community again this year. For more information about YLS, their events and how you can get involved, click here.
What Happens in Vegas Helps us Serve Southern Arizona

Each year, employees from United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona join hundreds of other United Way employees at the Western Regional Conference. It's a  unique opportunity for members across the United Way network to come together to learn and also share the wonderful work they are doing within their communities. During their time in Las Vegas, the group engages in activities including a charitable project. This year, the group stuffed hundreds of backpacks for local children in need. The group also gathers for inspirational discussions to help better the cities we serve. 

This year's keynote speaker was Father Gregory Boyle. He's the founder of Homeboy Industries which is the largest intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. He and his parish had a groundbreaking approach to ending gang violence: treat gang members as human beings. Father Boyle shares our ideals at United Way of Tucson, that UNITED WE ALL WIN. Click here to learn more about Father Boyle and his work with Homeboy Industries.
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