United Way: ‘What a charitable community we have’ in Kingman

Dawn Darby, Kingman area manager for River Cities United Way, looks over some of the items for sale at Salvation Army’s thrift store with Troy Palmer, director of Salvation Army.

Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Dawn Darby, Kingman area manager for River Cities United Way, looks over some of the items for sale at Salvation Army’s thrift store with Troy Palmer, director of Salvation Army.

United Way sponsors Irish vacation

KINGMAN – River Cities United Way depends on fundraising campaigns to provide service to 20 other organizations in Kingman, and trips like the “Shades of Ireland” scheduled for Oct. 11-20.

Megan Saxon, travel agent from U.S. tour operator Collette, will give a presentation on the trip at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Mohave Room at Kingman Regional Medical Center.

She’ll talk about the history of Dublin and the rolling green hills of Ireland. Travelers will live like royalty during an overnight stay at a centuries-old castle, dine at Killarney’s best restaurants and view the Atlantic Ocean from the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. They’ll visit Emerald Isle and tour the new House of Waterford Crystal factory.

For a trip brochure, contact River Cities United Way at 928-753-6720, or visit the web site at www.rcuw.org.

KINGMAN – Dawn Darby grew up in Kingman and went to high school here, then moved to Wyoming for 18 years. She wasn’t keen on the cold winters there, and she wanted to come back to her family.

It wasn’t until she started her job four months ago as Kingman area manager for River Cities United Way that she realized what a charitable community we have.

“Honestly, I was amazed at how many agencies there are here, especially for such a small town,” Darby said, referencing more than 20 partnership agencies supported by River Cities United Way.

Darby said all of the money raised by the River Cities United Way in Kingman stays here, going to organizations such as Kingman Aid for Abused People, Salvation Army, Cornerstone Mission, Kingman Area Food Bank and Boys & Girls Club of Kingman.

Over the last three years, United Way has seen a “phenomenal increase” in donations to Kingman organizations, with $175,000 going out last year, said Lynn Demaret, chief executive officer of River Cities United Way.

“The Kingman community has been phenomenal,” she said. “For us, it’s about identifying needs for the cities and then finding businesses to give back in some way, shape or form.”

There was a need for a washer and dryer at a school in Yucca where some kids came to school in dirty clothes, and the other kids didn’t want to sit by them. Employees at the Harley-Davidson Proving Grounds pooled their resources and time and filled that need, Demaret said.

United Way works as a “community conveyor,” so it’s important to be “in the know” and make connections, the CEO said.

River Cities United Way, with offices in Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, serves both Mohave and La Paz counties with a focus on education, income and health.

More than 1,000 homeless and low-income children have received medical, dental and vision care through River Cities United Way’s Kids Bright and Health program.

The charity’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps taxpayers get tax credits and deductions, including child tax credits, education tax credits and child care deductions. Qualifying taxpayers can have their taxes prepared at any of the Mohave County tax assistance sites for free.

MyFreeTaxes.com is a software program for free federal and state tax preparation. The self-filing service is available to anyone making under $62,000 a year, and filers can save an average of $200 using the free platform.

United Way also helped 23,000 people in the community save more than $2 million on prescription drugs through the FamilyWize prescription discount program, which is free to everyone with no registration or eligibility criteria.

The River Cities United Way office in Kingman is overseen by an advisory committee made of local employers and businesses.

Darby has bopped around town introducing herself to employers and businesses, holding workplace campaigns for United Way donations.

“My goal is to get more involved with the community and increase awareness of the good things we do in the community,” she said. “I’ll be out there introducing myself to businesses.”