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2021-2022 Community Report

A message from our President & CEO

Christine Benero - President & CEO of Mile High United WayThe greatest joy of being part of the Mile High United Way team is seeing first hand the grace and resiliency of a community united – from our tireless volunteers, our generous donors, our committed staff, and our extraordinary Board of Trustees to our corporate and non-profit partners, policymakers, and the families and individuals we are privileged to serve. This past year has once again called upon all of us to reach out our hearts and our hands and find what truly unites us – a vibrant community where every Coloradan can prosper.

I have stood in awe watching the parents in our HIPPY program celebrate as their preschoolers skipped across the stage at their first graduation, seeing our young people in Bridging the Gap unlock the door to their first apartment, hearing our 211 Community Navigators respond to over 100,000 requests for help, working alongside hundreds of volunteers to create magical experiences for new moms and their babies, listening and learning to bold journeys in brave spaces, and witnessing so many other countless stories of hope.

What a year it has been.

I am deeply grateful, as always, for the courage and commitment of our Board of Trustees, led these past two years by the simply amazing Catherine Hance.

At a time when the world changed in front of our eyes, the needs of our community multiplied, and hope wore thin, Catherine’s steadfast leadership and unwavering commitment to our mission was a port in the storm. Her legacy will be felt in our community for years to come.

It is also truly an honor to welcome our new Board Chair, Carlos Pacheco, a longtime resident and community leader in Boulder, who previously served as Chair of the Board of Foothills United Way. I cannot wait to see what this next chapter of our story brings.

As we begin celebrating 135 years as the first United Way in the world, it is clear that Mile High United Way’s story is our community’s story. We are excited to continue writing that story with you.

Warmly,

Christine Benero
President and CEO, Mile High United Way

Our Wraparound Approach

By addressing the following needs, Mile High United Way provides wraparound support to families across the seven-county Metro Denver area. Our programs and initiatives align with three Community Priorities: giving all children a strong start, supporting education and academic success, and creating economic opportunity for all. 

Our programs and initiatives ensure families in our community can meet their basic needs, so they can focus on the future and on achieving greater resiliency.

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We expand access to affordable housing options by connecting individuals and families to long-term housing, rental assistance, and more.

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We are committed to improving our childcare landscape by expanding access to quality early care and education, so our youngest learners enter school ready to thrive in kindergarten and beyond!

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We supports local business owners by helping them stabilize and take the next step in reaching their growth potential. We believe that when local businesses thrive, the entire neighborhood thrives.

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We strengthen the path to economic success by helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses, connecting job seekers to quality employment, and helping people access education and upskilling opportunities.

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We help students build a foundation for academic success by connecting them to education and literacy programming while also holistically addressing families’ needs.

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We provide free tax services to middle and low-income families through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, called Tax Help Colorado.

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Our Stories

  • Tonya is excited to expand

    Like many small business owners, Tonya was faced with challenges when the pandemic hit and struggled to keep her company afloat. Mile High United Way's United for Business team worked with her to create a financial strategy and marketing plan to help stabilize her business. She is now excited for the future and making plans to expand.

    “This road has been extremely challenging. [Mile High] United Way provided hope when my fighter spirit was almost done."
    Tonya is excited to expand
  • Supporting Our Youngest Learners

    Mile High United Way started offering Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) services in 2020 to empower parents with tools to support their child’s school readiness at home. HIPPY quickly became a beacon of our United for Families program. In June, Mile High United Way staff gathered alongside families participating in our HIPPY program to celebrate the graduation and accomplishments of their amazing children.
    Supporting Our Youngest Learners
  • A New Beginning for Leland

    In May 2022, we announced the purchase of a 24-unit apartment building in Denver to provide stable, affordable housing to members of our community. Leland, a participant in our Bridging the Gap program, was one of the first residents to move in.

    “Moving in means a lot; it’s a blessing and offers me a chance at a new beginning."
    A New Beginning for Leland
  • A home for Jill* and Her Family

    Our Bridging the Gap program provides stable housing and wellness supports for young adults transitioning out of the child welfare system. For many in the program, this is the first time they have had a stable place to call home.

    “This has really changed my life for the better. This is truly giving me the opportunity to give my kids a good home and a stable upbringing, which is all I could ask for. It’s the leg up I’ve been praying for.”
    A home for Jill* and Her Family
  • Ruben is now thriving

    Ruben was diagnosed with a speech delay at 15 months old. His mother, Yazmin, wanted the very best support for her son and joined our HIPPY program.

    “It’s been amazing. Once we started the Mile High United Way HIPPY program, that’s when Ruben really started talking and growing. Now he’s my little chatterbox and he is talking so much. We work on fine motor skill, gross motor skill, reading, literature, understanding of what they're reading, and just activities that make it fun for them."
    Ruben is now thriving
  • More than a Tax Refund for Dianne

    Our Tax Help Colorado program provides free tax preparation services to low- and middle-income families. Getting the refund you are owed can be life-changing for many individuals and families, including Dianne*.

    “I am in a really tough situation as a widow. Using this money, I plan to buy furniture for my kids. I was homeless, but now I have a place, and I am needing to buy a bed for my kids. My mom has cancer, so this also helps with her medical bills. This is a blessing."
    More than a Tax Refund for Dianne

*Name changed for privacy.

IMPACT AT A GLANCE

Hover to learn more about our programs and impact.

385,000+

lives impacted
Lives impacted by Mile High United Way direct services and work supported through community partners.
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206,591

referrals for critical resources provided by our 211 Help Center
211 provides referrals housing, rent assistance, food, and more to help people meet basic needs.
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139

Bridging the Gap participants in safe and stable housing
Bridging the Gap supports young adults transitioning out of the child welfare system.
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1,729

early learning sessions conducted
Through our HIPPY program, we're helping our youngest learners get kindergarten-ready.
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192

small businesses supported
$437,875 in capital secured by our United for Business team to help small, local businesses grow.
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5,274

tax returns prepared
Our Tax Help Colorado team helped hard-working individuals and families access $14.3 million in valuable tax credits and refunds.
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532

students supported in out-of-school time programs
We support out-of-school programming and a whole child approach to help students improve their literacy skills.
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2,724

volunteers served our community
Mile High United Way volunteers gave over 9,000 hours of their time this past year.
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705

corporate partners engaged
We create powerful corporate social impact programs through volunteer engagement, gifts management, thought partnership, and more.
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Financials

Click here to review audited financial statements and tax form 990 for Mile High United Way, Inc., for the period ending June 30, 2022.

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