United Way Blessing Tree campaign kicks off

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

On Wednesday, the United Way of Eastern New Mexico will host their second annual Blessing Tree campaign on the South side of the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

Beginning at 7 a.m., United Way staff and volunteers will be on site to take your donation, said Erinn Burch, UWENM executive director. For a donation of $20 or more, a person can write a wish on the paper ornament for a specific Roosevelt County family or a wish for a program funded by United Way, said Burch.

Hosting the event for the first time last year, the Blessing Tree campaign is designed to get the community more involved in the United Way campaign, said Burch.

“It’s a feel good way to show people that when they give to United Way, that they are a blessing to the United Way,” said Burch.

This year, the United Way is focusing on raising $70,000 for Roosevelt County. At the present time, $39,000 has been raised for the year from business and workplace contributions, said Burch.

Funds raised from the campaign will go to support a variety of organizations in Roosevelt County, said Burch. Some of the organizations that the contributions support include: Roosevelt County Literacy Council, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and the Roosevelt County Chapter of the Red Cross, said Burch.

On hand during the campaign will be local radio stations KTQM and KKYC/KICA, said Burch. KTQM will be broadcasting in the morning at the onset of the campaign and KKYC/KICA will be broadcasting at noon, said Burch.

“We are trying to remind people to come out and give and make a difference to families next year,” said Burch.

According to Leo Lovett, campaign chair, the Blessing Tree funds raised will not be used for actual Christmas programs, but will be given to the agencies in Roosevelt County who work with United Way, he said.

Seeing how United Way campaigns have affected people, and the community itself, Lovett feels the Blessing Tree has become a way to reach out to the community and individuals for them to donate, not just corporations. So far, donations raised for Roosevelt County are going very well for this year’s campaign, said Lovett.

“That’s what it’s (United Way) about, changing lives,” said Lovett.