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2022-2023
Community Report

Scroll for the summary or view the full report.

Prologue - A message from our Board Chair

Carlos Pacheco, Mile High United Way Board of TrusteesThe story of Mile High United Way began 135 years ago, when a group of visionary Coloradans believed we can accomplish more when we do it together. That faith in each other turned into the very first United Way.

In its first year, the Charity Organization Society of Denver raised $21,700 to change the lives of children and families who called Colorado home. In 2023, we invested $28.8 million, impacting the lives of 183,500 – the power of a community united.

But the heart of Mile High United Way’s story is so much more than dollars invested. What makes all stories great are the cast of characters – children, mothers, fathers, business owners, volunteers, donors, partners and advocates – who work to create opportunity for all.

This past year, Mile High United Way has been proud to bear witness to some of the most extraordinary stories:

  • A mother and her infant son, immigrating here to build a life full of hope.
  • The young adult, living on the streets after aging out of the child welfare system, finding her first stable home and now having aspirations for a career in advocacy.
  • The entrepreneurs who used their down time during the pandemic to learn about running a business, building a flourishing company, employing others and joining a network of other entrepreneurs.

And so many stories yet to be written.

Beyond characters, a story also needs a special setting – and there is nowhere more special than our state. It is this community and the people here that inspire us to work together to advance the common good. We know we are better together. We are a Community United.

Thank you for helping to write the stories for so many.

Warmly,
Carlos Pacheco - Chair, Mile High United Way Board of Trustees
Carlos Pacheco
Chair, Mile High United Way Board of Trustees

IMPACT AT A GLANCE

Hover over each box to learn more.

$28.8M

Invested in the community
This fiscal year, 84 cents of every dollar spent was for programs, surpassing the Better Business Bureau standard of 65 cents.
View Financials

183,500+

lives impacted
Lives impacted by Mile High United Way direct services and work supported through community partners.
About Us

252,583

connections to critical resources provided
Our 211 Help Center provides referrals for housing, rent assistance, food and more to help people meet basic needs.
Learn More

19,000

Volunteer Hours Facilitated
Our volunteers devote thousands of hours to our mission each year, doing everything from building bikes to preparing tax returns.
Learn More

Our Story Continues

Since 1887, Mile High United Way has brought people together to solve our region’s most pressing issues. From early childhood education and homelessness to food security and economic mobility – we have united people, ideas and resources to advance the common good.

Hover over the icons to learn more about our work and impact this fiscal year.

What We Do

Our work in affordable housing, child care and education, basic needs, small business and workforce development and tax assistance for families in Metro Denver

252,583 connections to critical resources provided

2,000 immigration- and migrant-related resources provided

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332 family members housed through vouchers

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980 parents and children served through our United for Families program

2,520 at-home learning kits distributed

452 licensed child care slots created or maintained through our investments

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511 businesses served

21 businesses received new websites, digital literacy workshops & tutorials

$4.26 million in new capital distributed through public/private grants and loans

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6,874 tax returns filed

305 volunteers recruited and trained

$11,754,396 in state and federal refunds

LEARN MORE

  • Our Story Continues...

    For Children

    Ermisenda came to the United States focused on creating opportunities for her son, Gerard. Mile High United Way helped her take the first step toward ensuring Gerard started kindergarten ready to succeed. In May, Gerard graduated from our HIPPY program alongside 13 other children, each ready to thrive in kindergarten.

    HIPPY began with just 27 children in 2020. Last year, we supported 84 children from 75 families.
    For Children
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Newcomers

    Jeniree and Elba arrived in Denver last year with hopes of a better future. Our 211 Help Center was one of their first stops in discovering their new future here. Our navigators connected them to support and resources for food, transportation and housing at our Uptown apartment building. Last year, we provided 252,583 connections to critical resources for individuals and families. “It is a pleasure for us to address you in extending our most sincere gratitude for the donations and help that you have given us,” Jeniree and Elba wrote in a letter to our staff.
    For Newcomers
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Advocacy

    When Shelby aged out of the child welfare system, she spent four years in and out of homelessness. She said they were the “most traumatic years of my life." Shortly before she turned 21, she found our Bridging the Gap program and received a housing voucher that gave her access to a safe, stable home and other supports, including basic needs, wellness and professional development coaching. Now, she hopes to use her experience to help others.
    For Advocacy
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Students

    Last school year, Brenda French experienced the joy that comes from helping a child discover new worlds through books when she volunteered with our Read With Me program. Read With Me connected Brenda and John*, a third grader at Thornton Elementary. Together, they unlocked the magic of reading, learning about sharks, Frida Kahlo, dinosaurs and more. “John started out reading books for a grade younger, but as he got more confident, he’d pick books in his grade. He was reading really well,” Brenda said.
    For Students
  • Our Story Continues...

    For New Homeowners

    After experiencing two rent increases in less than three years, Jennifer knew she needed a more sustainable housing option. Through community partnerships in Boulder, Jennifer learned about our Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) program, which provides participants with resources to achieve their goals of homeownership, small business development or post-secondary education.

    "I wouldn’t have been able to purchase this house without the funds. It felt like a godsend,” said Jennifer.
    For New Homeowners
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Economic Mobility

    Each year, IRS-certified volunteers like Chanda help connect low- and middle-income Coloradans to tax credits and refunds through our Tax Help Colorado program. This year, Chanda and over 300 other volunteers filed 6,874 tax returns for families.

    “When I learned about Tax Help Colorado, I thought it was too good to be true. It was everything I wanted,” she said.
    For Economic Mobility
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Small Business Owners

    Antonio and Patricia knew they needed support to grow their business, Totally Nutz. They joined our Website Build Initiative and Thrive Small Business Summit to learn how they can grow their online presence. Last year, our United for Business program assisted over 500 small business owners, like Antonio and Patricia.

    “Having a small business has been very interesting and Mile High United Way has really helped us understand how to make it grow," Antonio said.
    For Small Business Owners
  • Our Story Continues...

    For Equity

    Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are all integral to Mile High United Way’s mission, vision, values, policies and practices. In 2023, we made great progress toward creating and achieving nine key DEI strategies for our organization.

    “These strategies guide our work in creating a stronger, more equitable community,” said Eric Artis, our chief human resources and diversity officer.
    For Equity

A Community United In Action

COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS AND EXPENDITURES: $34.3 MILLION

We are financially strong with $61.1 million in net assets as of June 30, 2023.

22-23 Financials Chart

Audited financial statements and tax form 990 for Mile High United Way, Inc., for the period ending June 30, 2023, are available.

Epilogue - A message from our President & CEO

Christine Benero - President & CEO of Mile High United Way

It is inspiring to think of all the people who have been part of this Community United since 1887. The young children, moms and dads, caregivers, entrepreneurs, community leaders and volunteers. The young adult working on a fresh start.

The older adult looking for a way to give back to the community that nurtured him. The new family who has chosen Denver as their home. What an honor and a privilege it is to be part of Mile High United Way’s 135-year story. It is a movement in which we all play a critical role.

There are still so many chapters yet to write. In the year ahead, we will learn about an entirely new cast of characters – from the families at our soon-to-open early childhood education center to those individuals who call our 211 Help Center seeking hope.

We will navigate the twists and turns of the legislative session, follow the excitement of an election cycle, and meet new donors, volunteers and advocates who want to live our mission.

We will fill our hearts watching parents shop for their children for the holidays at our Children’s Holiday Party and new mothers find the supplies they need to give their babies a strong start in life at the Mile High United Way Village.

And we will see thousands of runners and volunteers kick off Thanksgiving at the 50th annual Turkey Trot, and hear women share their stories at the 25th annual Women United Luncheon.

Two things are certain this year – The unexpected will happen, and Mile High United Way will be there to connect our neighbors to the resources they need to get through and thrive.

We are stronger together. Thank you for believing in us as we write our next 135 years. Our story continues …

Warmly,

Christine Benero
President and CEO, Mile High United Way

We thank you, our community, for being the main character in our 135-year-long story.
Together, we are a Community United.

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