United Way almost to its goal | SteamboatToday.com

United Way almost to its goal

Allison Plean

— There are 25 dogs and two cats that are able to light up the day for many children and hospital patients because of Routt County United Way’s financial support.

“We have received money from United Way for two years in a row,” said Lynette Weaver, director of Heeling Friends.

She said the money helps cover the cost of regular testing of the pets to ensure their health.

Heeling Friends is one of nearly 40 health and human service agencies and programs throughout Routt County that benefits from United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

The goal has been raised 10 percent from last year – from $500,000 to $550,000 – and has to be accomplished by Jan. 15.

“Our community is growing and the demographics are changing,” said Roberta Gill, board member of United Way. “And a lot of these agencies are increasing services.”

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All gifts to the United Way are tax deductible.

“All the money donated in Routt County stays in Routt County,” said Mark Andersen, executive director of United Way. “It looks like we will be able to achieve our goal, but we’re not there yet.”

United Way is at 87 percent of the goal and has raised $480,000.

There are many different ways to give to make sure they reach their goal.

“You can pledge and we can invoice you throughout the year,” Andersen said. “You can give by credit through our Web site and people do give to the United Way through gifts of stock.”

Because of these donations, organizations like Heeling Friends are able to make differences in people’s lives.

“Pet therapy increases people’s sense of joy and I think it helps relieve or distracts them from depression, pain and discomfort,” Weaver said. “The dogs are healing in every sense of the word. When a dog walks into the room, it puts a smile on people’s faces.”

– To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204

or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com