United Way community grants decrease

CNJ Staff

Feeling the effects of a slow economy, United Way of Eastern New Mexico is giving less this year because it’s getting less.
The charitable organization received $530,000 in pledges this year compared to $580,000 the previous year.
United Way is distributing $272,000 in grants this year to 18 agencies in eastern New Mexico, which is about $61,000 less than last year. The money will be distributed monthly, according to United Way Executive Director Erinn Burch.
The United Way of Eastern New Mexico is including three new agencies in its budget, according to an organization press release.
The rest of the money goes to donor-specified charities and internal programs such as the 211 telephone directory.
The agency usually plans for a 5 to 6 percent pledge loss but expects more this year because of the economy.
“We kind of bumped it up this year because we think with the economy, more people are going to be likely to have a little buyers remorse,” she said.
Grant recipients are selected yearly, she said. Agencies must submit grant proposals to the United Way every year.
Goodwill Industries, Life Choices Center and Special Olympics New Mexico are new additions to budget this year.
“ The Life Choice Center is a brand new organization and they’re looking to get started, Goodwill has been in the community a couple of years and just wanted to be part of United Way and one of our areas of focus is income or financial stability, and because they provide job training and job placement they definitely are a