OUR COMMUNITY, OUR IMPACT
Though the past two years have forever changed our way of life, we are on the path to brighter times. We know that we couldn’t have made it to this point alone. As we navigated the pandemic, found healing after August 3rd, and braced for whatever challenge might have come next, we were comforted knowing we had you to complete the puzzle and better support the El Paso community.
As we traverse this new path forged by undeniably difficult situations, our United Way continues to support El Pasoans in the areas they need most. Last year, we had the pleasure of continuing to lead resiliency efforts through the El Paso United Community Resiliency and Family Resiliency Centers, which were founded to support El Pasoans impacted financially by COVID and the August 3rd tragedy, respectively. We were also able to support our local senior citizens during extreme weather with our Summer Fan and Winter Blanket Drives. When a need arose, we worked with donors, volunteers, and partners to address it, helping El Pasoans to manage in times of uncertainty.
Thanks to your generous support, we were able to put the pieces together to lead and fund programs, including our soon-to-be-launched Caring Homes Initiative, supporting and building the capacity of home-based childcare programs owned by minority women in the borderland. At a time when it was most needed, we were able to continue our funding of important local programs focused on mental health, homelessness prevention, food security, and more.
Even as we endure some of the hardest challenges our community has ever faced, we continue to Live United to create a thriving El Paso for all. Thank you for helping us to complete the puzzle and broaden our support. No matter where this new path may lead, united, we will make it through.
Deborah A. Zuloaga
Board Chair 2021 - 2022
President & CEO
REFLECTION FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR AND CEO
MISSION & VISION
Unite and mobilize the El Paso community around focused effort that:
connects our most vulnerable to basic needs,
closes educational achievement gaps,
promotes lifelong financial stability for all El Pasoans,
and connects people with opportunities to give, advocate and volunteer.
El Paso is the premier mult-cultural community in which to raise a family.
Our United Way is no stranger to supporting our community when challenges arise, but these past two years have tested our community’s resolve unlike any other. As we navigated a large migrant influx, the August 3rd mass casualty event, and the COVID-19 pandemic back-to-back, our community entrusted us to take the reins and support those impacted by these emerging needs. Our United Way, with the support of our corporate and community partners, responded to these needs to ensure that El Pasoans had the opportunity to thrive despite these challenges.
When we experienced the large migrant influx in 2019, our United Way worked together with local organizations to build volunteer capacity and make strong connections to better support the individuals traveling through and staying in El Paso. We knew that as we addressed this challenge, that our community was resilient and capable.
But after the August 3rd tragedy, our community’s resilience was tested like never before. We knew El Pasoans needed the right resources and services to make it through their healing journeys, and we also knew there were many organizations providing them, but that the bridge between these two wasn’t always clear. By helping stand the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center, our United Way helped navigate the way. Through the center, our United Way created a team of resiliency navigators and developed high-quality standards for navigation services, allowing us to promote the awareness of healing services that many individuals and families might not have otherwise known about. We were able to introduce the community to a wide range of traditional and nontraditional therapies that helped them find healing and support after tragedy.
We used this model to support El Pasoans when our community was impacted by COVID. Through the same high-quality, tailored navigation services, we helped El Pasoans navigate the tedious process of applying for financial assistance at a time when it was needed most.
During these times of need, our United Way excelled and created a well-tested formula to connect individuals to the resources that would support their families. Through these difficult times, the resiliency centers not only supported immediate needs but provided a continuum of support that touched many aspects of a family’s wellbeing.
As we continue down this new path forged from these trying times, we plan to continue serving as a navigator for El Pasoans in need.
When the COVID-19 pandemic unprecedentedly impacted our community on the heels of the August 3rd mass casualty event, we stepped in to ensure El Pasoans could be connected to the resources and services they needed to thrive, despite these challenges.
Total number of inquiries in 2021-2022 for COVID-19 navigation through our center that supported those financially impacted by the pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, city and county officials identified the need to stand a center to support El Pasoans struggling financially due to the hardships brought on by the pandemic. Our United Way was entrusted to undergo this endeavor. We served as the backbone for the center, overseeing and leading resiliency efforts and referring El Pasoans to services. Operating virtually, the CRC successfully connected El Pasoans to rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs in order to help them pay living expenses at a time when job loss and pay cuts were on the rise. Once connected to the CRC, individuals were referred to resiliency navigators who would assist them in finding the support they needed through our community partners including El Paso Rent Help led by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, Project Amistad, Project Bravo and 2-1-1. The CRC’s team of highly-trained, culturally sensitive, and bilingual resiliency navigators worked to address the specific needs of the El Pasoans who contacted the center, helping to ensure they were connected to the specific resources and assistance they needed. This support also included food assistance, mental health services, and workforce and job development programs. Between 2021 and 2022, the CRC made nearly 4,000 referrals, supporting more than 3,000 households throughout the borderland.
Total number of referrals in 2021-2022, serving 200 adults and 16 children impacted by August 3rd
In the wake of the August 3rd mass casualty event, our United Way was entrusted to stand and lead the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center, founded to support individuals who were directly or indirectly impacted by the tragedy. Since its opening on December 19th, 2019, the FRC has partnered with local agencies to connect El Pasoans with support to facilitate their healing journeys. The FRC team is comprised of dedicated resiliency navigators who support individuals and families to service their specific needs. Navigators provide referrals for counseling, financial planning, legal guidance, and spiritual care while also working to dismantle mental health stigma. In addition to connecting El Pasoans to valuable resources and services, the FRC team conducts outreach and education to further promote mental health wellbeing within the community. One way we’ve accomplished this is by creating the United & Resilient podcast, which gives us the opportunity to interview mental professionals, hear from local leaders, and speak with El Pasoans about their thoughts and experiences, providing listeners with an insider’s perspective on the topic. Between 2021 and 2022, resiliency navigators provided more than 500 referrals, serving more than 200 adults and 16 children. The work the FRC has accomplished is made possible through valuable partnerships with community agencies, including: Borderland 100 Club Center Against Family & Sexual Violence Compadres Therapy Creative Kids Deborah Grado El Paso Child Guidance Center El Paso Pro-Musica Emergence Health Network Family Service NAMI Paso del Norte Mindfulness for Healing and Well-Being Steven Cohen Military Clinic West Texas Responders Alliance YMCA YWCA
home visits conducted between July 2020 and July 2021, both in-person and virtually, serving 467 children and 374 families
The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is an evidence-based home visitation program that supports early childhood development by teaching parents and caregivers about important milestones and school readiness. Once enrolled in the program, families receive personalized visitations from our Parent Educators with an emphasis on parent-child interaction, development centered parenting, and family wellbeing. Parents and caregivers enrolled in the program also gain access to exclusive events, a resource network comprised of local organizations and services, and more. Over the course of the past two years, we’ve adjusted our programming to continue our support of families even during the pandemic. We hosted a variety of virtual and in-person events and activities to provide families and caregivers with resources, skill development, and foster connections between the families enrolled in the program. Between July 2020 and July 2021, Parent Educators conducted nearly 4000 home visits, both in-person and virtually, serving 467 children and 374 families. Last year, more than 3000 resources were provided to these families.
quality, age-appropriate books distributed to children throughout the community between 2021 and 2022
United Way’s Grade-Level Reading Initiative works to ensure every child in El Paso is able to read at grade level, fostering school success. We accomplish this through strategic book distributions and through efforts at the Book Nook at Sunland Park Mall. Book Distribution In an effort to build children’s personal libraries, our United Way team successfully distributed nearly 2,000 quality, age-appropriate books to children throughout the community between 2021 and 2022. We attended twelve kid-friendly events that allowed us to meet new families and distribute books to children on a broader scale. Book Nook Partnering with the Sunland Park Mall team, our United Way helped open the Book Nook on the mall’s top level. The Book Nook serves as a safe space for families to gather to read, play, and spend time together. To further engage families of young children, United Way and the Sunland Park Mall team host First Fridays at the Book Nook every first Friday of every month, complete with themed readings, crafts, and activities. First Fridays at the Book Nook started in August of 2021 and also served as another opportunity to distribute books to children and families.
Between 2021 and 2022, the BOOST Network was comprised of 48 members, with six steering committee members providing oversight for the network.
Our United Way is proud to serve as the backbone for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Healthy Kids Initiative, supporting their goal of engaging disconnected youth in the Paso del Norte region through high-quality out-of-school time programs in order to improve a range of health outcomes. As part of the initiative, 10 trainings were provided to participants, including through the Health Resources in Action organization, training out-of-school time providers in youth development. BOOST Through the Borderland Out-of-School Time Network, United Way serves as an intermediary, convening programs and partners within this network. The network is comprised of individuals and organizations who are committed to improving summer and afterschool programs available in the borderland region for children of all ages. Our combined efforts have evolved to adapt to the demands of the pandemic, offering both in-person and virtual events and initiatives. Between 2021 and 2022, the BOOST Network was comprised of 48 members, with six steering committee members providing oversight for the network. In 2021, 146 individuals attended BOOST quarterly meetings.
raised to provide items and services including toiletries, bathroom remodels, dentures, hearing aids, and more for seniors in El Paso
A collaboration between the Area Agency on Aging, the El Paso Times, and United Way, the Senior Fund helps cover the cost of items and services that aren’t fully covered through social services. Last year, the El Paso community raised more than $35,000 to provide items and services including toiletries, bathroom remodels, dentures, hearing aids, and more. Through this partnership, our United Way also collaborated with the Extreme Weather Task Force to host a Summer Fan Drive and a Winter Blanket Drive to support local seniors who don’t have access to adequate heating and cooling. Corporate partners, including Enterprise, Helen of Troy, Life Ambulance Services, Target, Texas Gas Services, and TFCU donated 200 fans to support the fan drive. Meanwhile, corporate partners at Cardinal Health, TFCU, Vantage Bank, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Hospitals at Providence donated nearly 300 blankets for the winter drive.
meals and 12,448 nights at shelters
were covered by EFSP funding
EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER PROGRAM
The Emergency Food & Shelter Program supports those experiencing hunger and homelessness throughout the community. Our United Way supports this program by allocating federal funding in order to support programs and organizations offering provisions and housing to those in need. Between January 2020 and October 2021, 447,096 meals and 12,448 nights at shelters were covered by EFSP funding as well as the payment of 114 bills for individuals who were unable to otherwise do so. Through EFSP, United Way also administers funds to support the community during emerging needs, including COVID and large influxes of migrants. Through the CARES grant, United Way oversaw a local board made up of volunteer community stakeholders that administered funds supporting 38 organizations assisting those impacted by COVID. In addition, through Phase ARPA, United Way administered funds totaling $889,200 to support six organizations providing humanitarian assistance: Salvation Army General Assistance El Pasoans Fighting Hunger City of El Pas Iglesia de Dios El Elyo and University Presbyterian Church
individuals re-enrolled in healthcare coverage and five community organizations collaborated to support the community, all through Enroll El Paso.
United Way serves as the leader for the community-wide coalition of partners offering support through Enroll El Paso to help El Pasoans with enrolling or automatically re-enrolling in quality, affordable medical insurance through the Medical Insurance Marketplace. These organizations, including faith-based organizations, nonprofits, hospitals and more, support El Pasoans through the application process via one-on-one assistance. Between 2021 and 2022, 31,714 El Pasoans received assistance during the application process, 86,464 individuals re-enrolled in healthcare coverage, and five community organizations collaborated to support the community, all through Enroll El Paso.
saved on prescriptions in El Paso, with nearly 8,000 individuals receiving SingleCare cards.
Formerly known as FamilyWize, the SingleCare prescriptions savings card program helps individuals save money on their prescriptions, regardless if they have insurance or not. Our United Way is proud to partner with SingleCare to help El Pasoans save money on life-saving prescriptions, vaccines, and more by promoting their services through social media and email marketing. Between 2021 and 2022, El Pasoans saved $617,539.86 on their prescriptions, with nearly 8,000 individuals receiving SingleCare cards. Since introducing SingleCare to the community in 2006, El Pasoans have saved nearly $3.6 million on their prescriptions.
SKILLS FOR SUCCESS
The Skills for Success pilot program was created to support parents enrolled in our Parents as Teachers program to further their education and skills in order to obtain gainful employment. As a partnership between United Way and WorkForce Solutions Borderplex, parents enrolled in the program complete GED and job certification courses to help them find full-time employment, allowing parents and their children to lead more financially stable lives. The Skills for Success program helped parents with obtaining child care assistance and public benefits assistance to eliminate barriers that may have otherwise prevented them from completing these programs.
To better support small businesses providing home-based childcare services in El Paso, our United Way created the Caring Homes Initiative. Launching in 2022, the program aims to build the capacity of small, minority-owned childcare businesses by connecting entrepreneurs with resource navigation and financial assistance to stabilize or grow their businesses. CHI advocates for the future generations of El Paso by supporting small business owners in financial and managerial capacities of the business owner, providing mentorship, guidance, and increasing access and improving childcare services to meet safety and quality standards of licensure. The Caring Homes Initiative is made possible thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and Wells Fargo, allowing us to support small businesses throughout El Paso, as well as strategic partnerships with the following organizations: University of Texas El Paso El Paso Community College Local Community Development Financial Institutions Area School Districts/ Schools Recreation Centers El Paso Public Libraries YWCA Paso del Norte Region Project Vida Workforce Solutions Borderplex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Texas Rising Star (TRS) Better Business Bureau (BBB) Texas Health and Human Services El Paso City Council County of El Paso Commissioners Court Neighborhood Associations
El Pasoans filed their taxes using MyFreeTaxes, averaging $2,421 in returns.
MyFreeTaxes is a free, online site that helps individuals accurately file their taxes, helping them to earn more back on their tax returns. Users have the option to utilize the assistance of IRS-certified tax professionals to better support them in completing their taxes. For the 2021 tax season, 133 households in the El Paso area filed their taxes using MyFreeTaxes, earning back an average of $2,421.
RISE members in 2022.
As a stepping stone to our esteemed Young Leaders Society, our donor network RISE serves to support the philanthropic journeys of budding young professionals. Members of RISE gain access to an exclusive event as well as one YLS event per year, further engaging the community and connecting with other young professionals. RISE members total 70 as of 2022.
Young Leaders Society members in 2022.
The Young Leaders Society is comprised of young professionals looking to further their philanthropic endeavors in order to support their community and make a bigger impact on the city they love. YLS members gain access to high-quality events, professional development opportunities, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Between 2021 and 2022, YLS members had the opportunity to hear from WestStar President & CEO, David Osborn, through our Wine & Wisdom speaker series, donate toys to childr