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  • ECAP donations produce meaningful returns on investment

    Editor's Note: For the next few months, eScoop will highlight a nonprofit as an example of a class of nonprofits that benefit from annual employee ECAP contributions, including those organizations that directly support County programs, operations or missions.

    Just as a drop becomes a trickle becomes a stream becomes a river, so too do donations to local non-profits through the Pima County Employee Combined Appeal Program (ECAP). They add up. And one of the most effective ways to turn on the spigots for the 2018-2019 ECAP campaign is donating to the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona‘s Collective Impact Fund.ECAP

    The Impact Fund provides an incredible return on investment: every dollar contributed is leveraged into more than five dollars through local, state and federal grants and volunteer support that go to programs primarily focused on three major areas — education, financial stability and community health.

    “We seek to make long term systemic changes that get at the root causes of poverty in our region and invest in areas that will achieve the greatest impact in our community,” said United Way Marketing Director Melissa D'Auria. “Hunger, crime, homelessness, drug abuse, unemployment and missing school; these things affect us all in one way or another. We all know people – friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers – who face some of those challenges.”

    Last year’s ECAP campaign raised nearly $300,000 with some 2,300 employees contributing to more than 200 charities and social service groups through payroll deduction or one-time donations. With roughly 7,000 County employees that works out to a bit over $127 per participant. Spread out over 26 pay periods that’s just under $5 from each check.

    “This year’s campaign could raise approximately $900,000 if every County worker participated,” said United Way Development Specialist Bruce Ayers. “Talk about the power of combined effort. If every employee gave up just one Starbucks drink a week and we could transform our community substantially for the good.”Days of Caring

    Want to make an addition impact on the community? Set aside Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20 for the United Way’s Days of Caring, the largest volunteer event each year in Southern Arizona. Join thousands of volunteers — families, teams and individuals — who take on dozens of projects across the community.

    Volunteer registration is open. Pick a projects and a day that works for you. 

    For questions or to volunteer tear-round, email daysofcaring@unitedwaytucson.org.


    For context, the United way estimates $260 covers the cost of 110 hours of senior support to help aging members of our community remain at home with dignity.

    The My Summer Library program can take $400 and provide 14 elementary schoolers with 12 new books to encourage summer reading. With just $800 the Youth on the Rise program can reconnect one high school dropout with education and career pathways. For $1,000 the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) can train a volunteer who will prepare returns for 46 low-income families and individuals - for free.


    The United Way uses its integrated, big-picture approach to all of its programming to enable Pima County residents to achieve their full potential in all times of life from birth to its end.

    “We all win when a child succeeds in school, a neighborhood turns around, families have good health and workers have solid jobs,” D’Auria said. “And we believe education is the key to developing and sustaining healthy, financially stable, self-sufficient communities.”

    The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is not just a recipient of ECAP money. The organization is a primary partner of the program and provides a great deal of technical and organizational support to the ECAP Steering Committee including helping organize the upcoming campaign kickoff scheduled for September 19 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. The festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    For more information about how to donate through ECAP or to join the ECAP Committee, contact Committee Chairs Ray Velez, (520) 724-4489, and Margo Chavez, (520) 724-9169.

    Nonprofits to be featured in eScoop over the coming months include those representing the following areas: Health, Youth, Literacy, Housing, Hunger, and Family Support.
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