2020 - 2021
BOARD CHAIR & CEO MESSAGE
Over the past year, our community has faced challenges unlike any other, but our United Way mobilizes and responds to each challenge and obstacle that comes our way. But we couldn’t have done it alone. Even in circumstances unprecedented in our lifetimes, our community comes together time and time again, proving we can withstand even the darkest of times.
Enduring the COVID-19 pandemic on the heels of a mass casualty event and large migrant influx has tested our resolve as a community, but we continue to stay strong. Our United Way continues to support those in need, serving as the backbone for important programs, including the Community Resiliency Center, which was opened to support those financially impacted by the pandemic, and funding critical organizations throughout the community to assist those impacted by these difficult times.
Over the past year, we transitioned our programs to an online format, conducting virtual home visits through our Parents as Teachers Program and supporting the first virtual Young Leaders Society Cohort by REALIZE Board Training Program in completion of the program. We also supported the creation of the Book Nook at Sunland Park Mall and partnered with Workforce Solutions Borderplex to launch the Skills for Success program, supporting parents enrolled in our Parents as Teachers Program in obtaining job and educational certifications to gain full-time employment. While this year was a difficult one, our United Way adapted to every change that came our way.
As we navigate the recovery process of living through this pandemic, we have found strength in supporting one another in our times of need. It is because of your continuous support that our United Way can overcome these challenges and provide vital support to our community.
Even during one of our most trying and difficult years in recent times, we are accomplishing important work together in the community—work that will lift us up out of these dark times and into a brighter future. As we continue to heal and hold each other up, we continue to embody what it means to Live United, and united we will make it through.
DEBORAH A. ZULOAGA
Board Chair 2020-2021
President & CEO
STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE
For many individuals and organizations, the challenges of the last year led us to reflect on our ability to sustain our newly developed scope of work and adapt to a digital more virtual future. For those reasons and more, we found it imperative to begin an internal transformation that looks at who we are, how we work, and what lies ahead.
Transformation to Modern United Way
Like in many situations we find ourselves, the work that we dream up is only possible with the support of our partners. As we sought out opportunities to transform into a more “modern” United Way, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation generously awarded us a $113,942-grant to implement new internal organizational systems and invest in technology for increased effectiveness and efficiency during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This much-needed and dedicated funding will allow us to look to the future and help us better position ourselves so we can align the quality of work we produce with how we operate. With better software and technology, we are poised to rebound far better after the year that was 2020. We are currently phasing this new infrastructure but are truly excited about the possibilities.
Philanthropy & Engagement Department
The next step is the syncing of our resource development and marketing departments to create a cohesive, seamless department known as philanthropy and engagement. We saw this an opportunity to deepen the connection and engage with our donors. Through better communication, we plan to increase awareness about how donor dollars transform lives but also showcase to donors the added value of being a part of the United Way family. This merging of departments is also an acknowledgement that our methods of communication and engagement need to transition into a more inviting and digital setting. Our work has just begun in this space but the outlook is promising.
MacKenzie Scott Funded Initiatives
As part of this transformation, our United Way is also forecasting the development of programs and initiatives that tackle issues unique to our community. This work, which is in the early stages, is made possible thanks to a $5-million donation from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Our organization was among a select group of organizations nationwide and three in El Paso who received such an award. In true United Way fashion, this work will be guided by the thoughts and suggestions of stakeholders, donors, partners and volunteers to create the greatest impact on our community.
leading the way
OUR RESPONSE EFFORTS
United Way hits the ground running with each challenge and obstacle that comes our way. Even in unprecedented circumstances, our community has proven time and time again that we are able to withstand even the darkest of times. Through our COVID-19 response efforts, the standing of the El Paso United Community Resiliency Center (CRC) for those financially impacted by pandemic, and our continued work through the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center (FRC) for those affected by the August 3rd tragedy, we continue to lead and provide support when needed the most.
<<Click Arrows to read more about: El Paso United CRC & FRC >>
Since the beginning of the pandemic, United Way of El Paso County has hit the ground running to support the community through the navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team partnered with numerous organizations throughout the community to help mitigate the virus’s effect and initiate recovery efforts for the community.
United Way of El Paso County engaged in the following activities to impact COVID response:
Partnered with the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to launch the El Paso COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits assisting vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those facing homelessness and food insecurity.
Built the volunteer capacity with local food banks as well as funded the Get Shift Done from the El Paso Community Foundation, which supports hourly workers whose jobs were adversely affected by the pandemic.
Transitioned early childhood programming to virtual format.
Added educational supports for families with children age 0-5.
Supported local food pantry in increasing volunteer and coordination capacity as well as upgrading equipment to improve efficiency.
Supported food bank to provide meals delivered to homes of COVID-positive and home-bound individuals.
Supported local technology-based non-profit in creating and manufacturing face shields for use in hospitals and schools.
Provisioned and distributed cleaning supplies and basic needs essentials for homeless shelters and food pantries.
Created and delivered hygienic care kits for vulnerable homebound, senior population.
Supported meal provision and gratitude efforts for essential healthcare and emergency response personnel.
Supported local community organizations in providing utility assistance to El Paso households.
Supported local senior population with delivery of food boxes and basic needs essentials.