Good News Network February 2019

KGUN 9's parent company, EW Scripps, along with Peter Piper Pizza, surprised all of us with a donation of more than 800 books on National Reading Day last month. We've begun distributing the books to schools in need throughout Pima County. KGUN anchors also surprised us with a $20,000 grant to advance our work in early childhood education. This generous grant will help fund several education initiatives including our My Summer Library program which provides free books to local students to curb summer learning loss.  Click here  to learn about our early education programs . A huge THANK YOU to Scripps, KGUN and Peter Piper Pizza!
There are still a few seats left at one of the most important events of the year. Women United's 2019 Business Leaders Breakfast for Early Education is happening Wednesday, February 27th from 7am to 9am. at the Tucson Convention Center. Last year, 720 influential business and community leaders attended and raised more than $67,000 for early childhood literacy. All tables and sponsorships are now sold out but you can grab a spot by clicking here.
People Profile: Meet Collette Brown-Rodriguez
This year's Business Breakfast for Early Education will feature a panel discussion led by one of United Way's board members, Collette Brown-Rodriguez. Collette's father is Navajo and her mother is Salish Kootenai, a tribe in Montana. She was born in Provo, Utah then lived in Montana for a bit before going back to live on the Navajo reservation in the small town of Tsaile, Arizona. Collette finished high school in Chinle, AZ before receiving her degree in Environmental Science from Salish Kootenai College. She now has 20 years in the mining and natural resources industry and loves it! Collette has two beautiful girls and recently married a wonderful gentleman, Steve Rodriguez, with his daughter and son, in October of last year. Collette says they have a little zoo at home with two cats, two dogs, a bearded dragon, and a hamster! Here's a little more about Collette:

Why did you choose to get involved with United Way?
I have been around the United Way organization for a while early on in my mining career because it is such an integral part of providing great services for communities. When I moved to Tucson in 2015 I had the chance to be a part of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona board and I really consider it the greatest board of all time! I love being a part of the sustainable efforts in our community.
Why is the Business Breakfast for Early Education so important?
Good early childhood education is proven to be foundational to the success of our children’s futures. The Business Breakfast allows us as a community to come together to celebrate the successes in our community and also help continue to spread the awareness of its importance. On top of all that, Women United gets to use the funds to buy books! 
What do you love most about Tucson?
The people, culture, food, environment, and the sun (except June!)
Anything else you'd like to add?
I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of such an awesome team of people at United Way! What a gift!
This week, United Way of Tucson and the Primavera Foundation announced a $25,000 investment in an emergency fund for federal workers affected by the recent government shutdown. We saw an immediate response from federal workers in need in just the first couple of days. Together with Primavera we’ve already served: 22 households, helping 9 with mortgage assistance, 8 with rental assistance and 32 with utility bills. There are so many more that could use our help.While the government shutdown has come to an end for now, many federal workers are still facing mounting late fees, rent or mortgage payments and additional financial insecurity due to the possibility of another shutdown. Click here to give back to the men and women who do so much for our country.
United Way of Tucson is teaming up with Intuit to teach you how to complete tax returns for yourself, your family, and/or your friends. Workshop participants will complete and file their own tax return using free TurboTax software provided by Intuit. Learn a new skill while taking care of your filing requirement! This workshop is free to eligible filers. To determine eligibility, please follow this link to the  TurboTax  software and select the “Am I Eligible?” option.

Where: Himmel Park Library
When: February 20, March 6, March 20 from 2:30 - 5:30pm

Taxpayers must bring:
•     Social Security card or number for EACH family member
•     Proof of income, including W2s and 1099s
•     Account and routing numbers for direct deposit of refunds
•     Documentation for deductible expenses such as home mortgage interest or real estate taxes.
•     Forms 5498-SA and 1099-SA for Health Savings Accounts and 1095A for Affordable Care Act (if applicable)
United Way of Tucson's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers are ready to get you the best possible income tax return. If you made less than $66,000 last year get your taxes done for free. Here are three ways to use VITA:

  1. In Person Tax Prep
  2. DIY Self Prep Software
  3. Valet VITA
What could make filing taxes more tolerable? How about filing for free then celebrating with free tacos? If you made less than $66,000 last year, join United Way's Young Leaders Society (YLS) for Tacos & Taxes. Certified tax preparers will be on-hand to help you file your taxes with Then, celebrate with a free drink and tacos.
When: Wednesday, March 6th, 5pm-8pm
Where: Hotel McCoy
Click here to RSVP
This Valentine's Day you can give Arizona the ultimate gift by donating to United Way's Centennial Endowment Fund. The fund has been established with a goal of reaching $25 million by our Centennial Anniversary Celebration in 2022. This will sustain United Way's Collective Impact Fund through the next 100 years, ensuring that our vital programs continue on and operational needs are met. Click here for more information or to donate.
Late last year, the Backpack Coalition, along with United Way of Tucson, collected backpacks to be distributed to Opportunity Youth (young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school and not working due to economic, social, and educational barriers.) Those backpacks were put on display at the University of Arizona to represent the 21,000 Opportunity Youth in Pima County. Now, it's time to distribute those backpacks. The Backpack Distribution event is happening on February 20th from 4pm to 6pm in the United Way of Tucson Parking Lot. Click here to request backpacks for your organization. We'd love to hear your stories to help spread awareness about Opportunity Youth!
Now is your last chance to claim your spot at a free community conversation on the future of aging here in Pima County. It's happening Wednesday, February 13th from 7:30am to 11am. You'll hear from keynote speaker, Anna Maria Chávez, the Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President of External Affairs for the National Council on Aging. A free continental breakfast will be provided. Click here to learn more and to RSVP.

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