Pam Breitreiter, the CEO of the Concho Valley United Way recently expounded on a press release regarding campaigning for donations for the 14 counties of the Concho Valley.

“We want people to know that the money isn’t just for San Angelo. The money benefits programs in all counties of the Concho Valley,” Breitreiter said while distributing individual flyers created specifically for each of the 14 counties. The flyer for each county is tailored specifically for that county, to show the programs that the United Way specifically funds.

Breitreiter points out that the Concho Valley United Way does not fund agencies, it funds specific programs within agencies. For instance, they don’t fund the Salvation Army but they fund the Emergency Assistance program within the Salvation Army. This ensures that key programs are specifically funded.

Breitreiter and others in the United Way are going to the other counties outside of Tom Green to campaign for donations. Last year, the Concho Valley United Way brought in $779,973. When you see that they support 17 programs, the money only goes so far and much more is needed.

Many of the programs that they fund are centered on our youth. Programs such as Project: Learn, which is part of the Boys and Girls Club of Menard, The Children’s emergency shelter’s program “Safe and Sound”, all require resources. Other such as the Adult Literacy Council’s, “English as a Second Language” and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley’s program, “Adult Treatment” helps people with addiction and counseling. They also fund veterans programs such as the West Texas Counseling and Guidance’s “Veteran Outreach”. The programs that they support monetarily vary greatly. The “Therapeutic Riding” program at Sonrisas TRAILS has benefitted from the support of the Concho Valley United Way. The Concho Valley United Way has helped over 58,000 families and that number grows every day, through many of the funded programs.

One of the challenges that the Concho Valley United Way is facing is trying to get people from the counties outside of Tom Green to participate in the United Way. Breitreiter said that they would like to have one person from each county sit on their board of directors. It would help the Concho Valley United Way identify issues in those counties where they could possibly help. The Concho Valley Regional Food Bank serves all of the counties, not just Tom Green. Having someone in those counties that know of particular situations that the United Way could help with would be a great advantage.

“Basically we are looking for someone who involved in their community, who understands the needs of their county and who is willing to help us connect with their residents,” Breitreiter said.

Money that people in the various counties donate would benefit them and their county, not just Tom Green county. Breitreiter has approached businesses to do presentations for their employees to garner donations. She has had some success but not enough to gain any significant momentum. She hopes to change that by educating people on just how the Concho Valley United Way helps everyone, not just people in Tom Green County.

“There are services that, if we didn’t provide funding for them, people would have to go without and the county might end up having to foot the bill for the service or program,” Breitreiter said.

Breitreiter continues to contact businesses and organizations in the various counties to ask for donations and to educate people on the Concho Valley United Way’s programs. Many businesses are in the “deciding” phase regarding whether or not to allow a presentation to their employees. Unfortunately, waiting in the doldrums of the “deciding phase” means that programs that could benefit greatly from more funds must take a “wait-and-see” approach. If you’d like more information about their programs, donating or joining the board of directors representing your county, you can contact the Concho Valley United Way at (325) 949-3716 or visit their website at www.uwconchovalley.org.