Working Together for Larimer County

At Elevations Credit Union, we’re invested in the communities we serve, and we strive to build relationships with other organizations who share this passion for community, like United Way of Larimer County (UWLC). 

Four Areas of Focus in Larimer County

United Way has been active in Larimer County for over 60 years and has evolved to become the largest nonprofit in the county. UWLC focuses its efforts in four core areas, with programs and partnerships in: 

  1. Youth Education: Focus on kindergarten readiness, reading at grade level by the end of third grade and high school completion. 
  1. Financial Sustainability: Focus on a pathway from poverty to self-sufficiency, as well as disaster response and recovery. 
  1. Community Engagement: Focus on increasing volunteerism, collaborating across sectors, creating a pipeline of civic leaders and engaging businesses with the community. 
  1. Nonprofit Excellence: Coordinating with more than 70 local nonprofits, funding collective impact activities, evaluating outcomes and creating data-based reports for donors. 

90% of every dollar donated goes directly to programs making an impact in our community. 

– United Way of Larimer County

Making a Difference in 2020 

In 2020, United Way of Larimer County focused on addressing systems-level issues that adversely affect people of color in Larimer County. They formed committees to work on this, and they conducted diversity, equity and inclusion training for their staff, board and community partners.  

UWLC served as a vital resource for disaster response and recovery in Larimer County in 2020, addressing the community’s needs directly related to COVID-19 and the Cameron Peak Wildfire. This year, they continue to organize recovery efforts and fundraise for unmet needs in the community.  

“When disaster strikes, the United Way of Larimer County rises to the occasion. From the floods of 2013 to the acute wildfires in recent years, Elevations Credit Union trusts this critical community organization to lead the way in both relief and recovery. We could not be more proud of our relationship with United Way of Larimer County,” said Dennis Paul, Vice President, Community Affairs at Elevations Credit Union and Elevations Foundation Board Chair. 

Springing to Action – Wildfire Relief 

Amid a global pandemic, Colorado experienced a record wildfire season in the fall of 2020. United Way of Larimer County was prepared and responded quickly to support those impacted by the Cameron Peak Wildfire. UWLC connected with community leaders in Estes Park and helped translate all important evacuation information into Spanish, so no one in the Spanish speaking community was left uninformed. In addition to being on the ground, UWLC rallied community members and companies to raise funds for those impacted by the fires. Altogether, the Larimer County Fire Recovery Fund established by UWLC has accumulated over $1.3 million.  

“Larimer County was hit hard by the wildfires last fall. Together, Elevations Credit Union and our membership, and Elevations Foundation, were the single biggest donor of wildfire relief funds to United Way of Larimer County in 2020,” said Paul. “Our membership’s donations, along with a significant challenge grant from Elevations Credit Union, allowed Elevations Foundation to deliver $182,000 to the United Way of Larimer County within days of the fund’s closing.”  

Larimer County Long Term Recovery Group has distributed and will continue to distribute long-term recovery funds to agencies and partners assisting families impacted by the fires. The fundraising was an impressive act of community, but UWLC knows that the work to rebuild homes and recover from fire damage will take years. The current needs of those affected include legal assistance, mental health support and short-term housing. Future needs will expand to preparing to rebuild, replacing water systems, and replanting and reseeding properties.   

Elevations Credit Union looks forward to standing beside the United Way of Larimer County in more efforts that improve the lives of those who live in the community we both serve and love. Find out more about United Way of Larimer County and get involved here.  

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