Good News Network July 2018

Thanks for Helping us Reach New Heights!

As we close out another fiscal year, we want to thank our generous donors and supporters for helping to build a thriving community over the past 12 months. Together, with our partners, we helped more people than ever in Southern Arizona!  124,670 individuals were served  in and around Tucson. That's a 20% increase from the year before! Along with that, we've made incredible strides in youth development. Cradle to Career, in partnership with Goodwill, opened a second Re-Engagement Center, increasing disengaged youth enrollment by 64%. Enrollment in the Raising a Reader literacy program increased by 250%. We hit a new volunteer record with the 18th Annual Days of Caring event convening 4,100 volunteers that completed 18,385 volunteer hours. That adds up to a $453,000 impact here in Southern Arizona! While we celebrate these successes, we know there is much more to be done and look forward to helping more Southern Arizonans thrive in the coming years. Click here to learn how you can get involved. 
 New Campaign Year, New Leadership

Along with the new campaign year comes new leadership for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. At this year's annual meeting, we elected new officers, new committee chairs, and two new board members. The board elected Joel Rohlik, vice president of finance at the Arizona Daily Star, as Chair; Steven Dasch, site president at Citi as campaign chair; Edmund Marquez, owner of Edmund Marquez Allstate Agencies, as Vice-Chair; Jennifer Phillips, owner of Jennifer J. Phillips, CPA, PLLC, as Treasurer (and Finance Committee Chair); and G. Alfred Kennedy, managing editor of, as Secretary. Click here for more information and a complete list of board changes. 
 TMC Takes Care of Southern Arizona

We want to thank Tucson Medical Center for another great campaign. TMC is a long-time, exceptional corporate and community partner. TMC has been taking care of Southern Arizonans for more than 70 years.  This year's campaign began in late May and culminates with a TMC leadership presentation on July 20th. Along with great TMC leadership and an extraordinary Employee Campaign Leader, more than 40 TMC Campaign Champions (staff members across TMC's campus) spread the word to create campaign excitement and schedule presentations. To date, more than 60 campaign presentations have taken place, with a total of 75 scheduled. This year, TMC celebrated their campaign with a Lego-themed Food Truck Rally! It was a fun, family-friendly event that raised money for United Way of Tucson. Their workplace campaign is our last of 2017-18 campaign season and they always finish strong! 
People Profile: Meet Della Hodson

United Way is excited to welcome someone instrumental in helping us gain and maintain our workplace campaigns that enable us to do what we do here in Southern Arizona.  Della Hodson recently joined UWTSA as our Annual Campaign Senior Director. Before coming to Tucson, she joined United Way of Kern County in Bakersfield, CA in 2004 as Director of Marketing and was later promoted to Director of Community Impact, with responsibility for all community impact programs, marketing, and fundraising. She became President and CEO in July, 2008.  A graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a bachelor's degree in journalism, Hodson spent several years working in community newspapers in the Houston area before moving into marketing and public relations. She lived in Bakersfield for 25 years, during which time she held marketing positions with the local community college and Catholic Healthcare West (now Dignity Health) before joining United Way. She also acted as a marketing and public relations consultant to a variety of clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  During her time in Bakersfield, Hodson was an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years, serving as chair of the board and helping to build more than 40 houses in partnership with families in need. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross - Kern Chapter, the Kern County Network for Children, the Kern County Homeless Collaborative and others.  A native of Connecticut, Hodson is the mother of two adult children: Stephanie, an attorney with the State of California; and David, an engineer with Air Systems Inc. in San Jose. She and her partner, James Dennis, are the "parents" of Murphy, a 4-year-old rescue terrier. Here's a little more  about Della. 

What provoked you to focus your talents on nonprofit work?
I actually moved from journalism into freelance public relations and marketing when my second child was born. I found myself gravitating toward nonprofits as clients, so it was a natural evolution. After four years as marketing director and vice president of community impact at United Way of Kern County in Bakersfield, I had the opportunity to become CEO in 2008.

Tell me about your role at United Way of Tucson? 
I am Senior Director of Annual Campaign, which means I lead the team raising money in workplaces throughout our region.  We have some real opportunities to grow our workplace giving and help UWTSA touch even more lives. Tucson is an exciting place to be right now.

What do you love most about what you do?
This work provides great opportunities to become acquainted with diverse people throughout the community. I love hearing their stories and telling the story of how United Way impacts people's lives and contributes to a thriving community. 

What do you love most about Southern Arizona?
I love the lush desert and the beautiful sunsets! 
More Southern Arizona Children Enroll in Pre-K Programs

We are getting a new look at Cradle to Career's (C2C) impact on Southern Arizona.  C2C has just released its 2018 Community Impact Report. Click here to read it.  The report is a mechanism for public accountability for improving educational outcomes from birth to career and eliminating disparities. It highlights the dynamic work happening throughout the Cradle to Career Partnership, sharing progress, challenges, impact and accomplishments of the collective efforts to improve outcomes for more than 340,000 young people living in Pima County. Among the accomplishments from the past year:

  • 600 additional 3- and 4-year-olds are in quality Pre-K programs.
  • Nearly 200 older youth are on a renewed path to connect back to school or work through our re-engagement centers.
  • The percentage of all 8th graders passing AzMERIT math assessments increased 11 percentage points, to 37%.
C2C also recently launched  an interactive data experience of the partnership's community wide indicators. Check it out by clicking here. 
Last Call to Submit your Days of Caring Project!

We want your projects! Thousands of volunteers are getting ready for the 19th Annual United Way Days of Caring event happening October 19th and 20th. But they need projects. So n ow is the time for Nonprofits,  schools, childcare centers, long-term care facilities, community gardens, neighborhood associations and more to sign up to benefit from Tucson and Southern Arizona's single largest volunteer event.  Project submission closes on August 3rd but you can enter to win a $500 stipend to help with your project by submitting yours by Tuesday, July 17th. Volunteers will roll up their sleeves to help with anything from packing food and reading to children to picking up trash and yard work. Click here to find out how to submit your project or click here for a video tutorial. 
Don't Miss the Bus

There's still time to register to hop on the bus for a great cause!  United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona 's Young Leaders Society (YLS) is hosting a Dive Bar Social Bus Tour on Saturday, July 21 from 5-11pm! This event is open to anyone, not just current YLS members.  Tickets are $25. All proceeds benefit Youth on the Rise (youth ages 16-24 who are on a path to re-engaging with their education and career). Click here to reserve your spot on the bus or learn more about YLS. 
 Youth on the Rise Goes Mobile

We at United Way love working with businesses and organizations that strive to improve our community. That is exactly what Freeport-McMoRan is doing! They've just contributed $10,000 to Youth on the Rise (YOTR) for the development of a mobile Re-Engagement Center. YOTR is  the opportunity youth change network of the Cradle to Career Partnership. Its new Mobile Re-Engagement Center  will be a mobile-friendly website and smartphone app that will work to reconnect youth to school and work as well as provide information on stabilization services. Click here to learn more about Youth on the Rise. 
Thanks for reading

If there are stories that you enjoyed or would like more information on, let us know. Also, if there are topics that we are not covering in our newsletter that you would like to see, please let us know!

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