Good News Network September 2018


Wildcats Care
As tens of thousands of students return to the University of Arizona for another school year, we are gearing up for another successful campaign with the pride of Southern Arizona.  Thousands of UA employees give back to the community through their UA Cares Campaign that runs October 1st through November 30th. New this year, United Way is hosting a booth on campus each Wednesday to promote the campaign, provide details about the work of United Way of Tucson and share information about volunteer engagement and other opportunities including United Way's Days of Caring Many of the students take part in Days of Caring each year through the Eller College of Business's Make a Difference Day. Last year nearly 900 Eller students volunteered during Days of Caring. United Way is also proud to have UA president, Dr. Robert Robbins on United Way of Tucson's board of directors this year. We at United Way could not be happier to partner with such an amazing university and combine efforts to build a thriving community. Go Cats!
Don't Miss the Biggest Volunteer Event in Southern Arizona!
 
Volunteer Registration is now open for United Way's 19th Annual Days of Caring. The event brings together thousands of volunteers, just like you, who roll up their sleeves to improve our community one project at a time. Make sure you clear your calendar Friday,  October 19th and Saturday, October 20th to show Tucson you care. Volunteer opportunities range from cleaning up parks, streets and graffiti to packing food for those in need. Whatever project you decide to take part in, you will definitely leave knowing you made a real difference in the community. Click here to find your opportunity.  Click here to see KOLD News 13's story on Days of Caring.
Top Sponsors Return for Another Year of Caring

United Way's 19th Annual Days of Caring is just more than a month away. While this event is solely a volunteer event, we could not make the impact we do without our Days of Caring sponsors. We want to thank our Gold and Platinum sponsors: Wells Fargo, IBM, Texas Instruments, Freeport-McMoRan and GEICO. These generous businesses are just a few  who have been with us for many years, ensuring this incredible event grows each year, and more Southern Arizonans benefit. Along with their financial support, each business encourages its employees to volunteer for projects throughout the community. We are so grateful for their support in helping Southern Arizona thrive! Click here for more information on United Way's Days of Caring.
Join the Initiative!
 
While United Way's Days of Caring inspires so many to volunteer in our community, many want to give back throughout the year. That's one of the reasons United Way is part of the Service Enterprise Initiative. A Service Enterprise is an organization that attains a level of volunteer engagement that expands its capacity, extends its reach, and achieves its mission more efficiently, and at nearly half the median budget of other organizations that are not Service Enterprises. If you feel like your organization can benefit from expanding its organizational potential, now is your chance to join organizations like The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona,  Make Way for Books, and   Habitat for Humanity  in pursuing certification as a Service Enterprise by Points of Light Foundation. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 18th. Click here for more information and to apply.
People Profile: Meet Ken Briggs
 
United Way  of Tucson is made up of so many inspiring employees who work behind the scenes to serve our community. This month, we'd like to introduce you to Ken Briggs. He's the Senior Director of Community Development with United Way. He spent his first 12 years in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, playing in the lake and exploring the pine-covered hills, and spent the next six years in Miles City, Montana, exploring sagebrush-covered plains and badlands, occasionally hunting fossils. Ken went to The University of Montana for a degree in English, and in his last year, volunteered to teach English to adult refugees, the Hmong from Laos. Ken says it was an eye-opening experience that led him to a Masters in International Administration from The School for International Training and to a career teaching English as a Second Language and exploring intercultural communication. Ken wound up working with refugees for 17 years as a teacher, teacher trainer, program manager, in Montana and Thailand, and finally, as an executive director and regional director for the International Rescue Committee, overseeing the work of refugee resettlement offices. In between, Ken taught ESL to students from other countries at Rocky Mountain College, then built up international programs there to bring more students from around the world to Billings, Montana, and send more U.S. students abroad.    The job with the IRC is what brought he and his wife and to Tucson after their kids had finished college.  When he left the IRC, in 2014, Ken says he searched for meaningful work, and found it at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Ken's son is general counsel for a tech company, and his daughter, son-in-law, and family live in Washington State. Though by profession a speech pathologist liker her mother, she is staying at home with their  granddaughters, ages 7 and almost 5. Here's a little more about Ken and his work with United Way.
 
Tell me about your role at United Way of Tucson and the Service Enterprise Initiative.
I direct financial stability initiatives and volunteer engagement at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. The Service Enterprise Initiative is a fairly recent addition to our work, though a very important one. With volunteer engagement, we are continuing our effort to connect community members to volunteer opportunities that help nonprofits achieve their missions. We do this through GetConnected, our volunteer matching program. We also are working to match groups and teams from corporate partners, The University of Arizona, and faith-based groups to projects that strengthen our community. With the addition of the Service Enterprise Initiative, we are now helping nonprofits increase their capacity, extend their reach, and become more efficient by integrating volunteers into their workforce, so they can have more impact with less cost.
The Initiative is based on research by Deloitte and the TCC Group instigated first by ReImagine Service. Points of Light Foundation now carries it forward. Basically, they identified 10 characteristics of highly effective organizations. Now the Initiative is providing training and coaching to organizations to help them assess their current practices, develop action plans, and move to a more effective, integrated model of volunteer engagement and management. It was brought to Arizona by the Arizona Commission for Service and Volunteerism and is run by the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith, and Family. We are a Partner Hub with the Governor's Office, providing training and coaching in Southern Arizona.
 
Why is the Service Enterprise so important to our community?
There are several reasons. First, nonprofits are resource-constrained, and for too long have considered volunteers only for minor roles in their services and operations. Second, young people with intelligence and passion to help are looking for ways to gain experience and perspective, while Baby Boomers are looking for ways to contribute their experience and expertise in retirement. When organizations integrate volunteers at all levels of their work-from the front desk to the board-they can achieve their social missions more effectively and with less cost, while engaging skilled volunteers in meaningful work. It's both organizational and community development wrapped together.

What do you love most about what you do?
I think it's always been about the people I work with. I'm surrounded by mission-driven, smart, curious people. That's true of the staff at United Way and also true of the volunteers who help us develop strategy, act as sounding boards and technical advisors, and of those who deliver services through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). I also get to meet a lot of very hardworking people when I help them with their tax returns. Though VITA season is a grind, it's a pleasure to help people gain a little financial boost at tax time.
 
What do you love most about Southern Arizona?
The mix of cultures, the food, the incredible variety of landscape, seasonal changes, and flash and boom of monsoon season to name a few. Montana is called Big Sky Country, but maybe they hadn't visited Arizona when they chose that name.
The Giving Starts at Home

As we kick off another workplace campaign throughout so many businesses in and around Tucson, we want you to know we would never ask our partners for something we wouldn't do ourselves. That's why b efore we go out into the community to  raise funds for Southern Arizona, we  start at home. We began our internal workplace campaign late last month and we're excited to  announce that, once again, we met our  internal goal of 100% participation!  The majority of our employees are also leadership givers, donating more than $500 per year to United Way of Tucson. While giving is far from mandatory, we love that our employees are inspired by the work we do and feel compelled to reach into their own pockets to help Southern Arizona thrive! Click here to see more photos from our internal workplace campaign kickoff. 
Update: The Backpack Project Picks up Steam

More than 21,000 Opportunity Youth in Southern Arizona are now getting  recognition thanks to The Backpack Project. The mission is to collect 21,000 backpacks for those young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school or work in Pima County. A coalition of 8 young people from the United Youth Leadership Council, the University of Arizona's Fostering Success program and the METRO Goodwill Youth Program are organizing the project that's both an art installation and a massive donation drive.  So far, 757 backpacks have been collected. You can easily donate a backpack now at any Vantage West Credit Union around Tucson or at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Click here to see more locations or to donate online.
The Future of Southern Arizona Leadership

United Way's Young Leaders Society (YLS) is excited to welcome new members to its executive committee.  During the group's annual retreat, YLS added several new members including Monica Grimaldo from KOLD, Jeremy Hazen with MassMutual, Laura Jones with Caterpillar, Molly Bissonette with BeachFleischman, Monica Kemsley with Citi, and Stephanie Abramo with Comcast. Along with welcoming the new committee, YLS members discussed goals for the coming months, which include taking on more volunteer opportunities, and holding more events connecting with Opportunity Youth. YLS is also helping to get the word out on The Backpack Project by teaming up with Women United next month to collect backpacks and stuff them with donated hygiene items. YLS is always accepting new members. Click here for more information on how to join.
Caterpillar Cruises for the Community

We want to thank everyone who helped make Caterpillar's 6th Annual Cruising for United Way Car Show a huge success! Each year, Caterpillar employees gather with the community to give back to Southern Arizona. It's a family-friendly day of cool cars, trucks and motorcycles, prizes and heavy duty machines. All proceeds go to United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.  Their generosity helps us with our mission to build a thriving community by uniting people, ideas and resources. We couldn't be more gratefulClick here to see more photos from the event.
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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