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7:44 AM Tue, Oct. 16th

What does your local United Way do for the Kingman community?

River Cities United Way’s focus is on education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life. Last month I discussed that a big part of what we do at United Way is raising funds through workplace campaigns and payroll deduction to invest in other nonprofit agencies within the Kingman community. Last year alone we gave over $50,000 to our qualified partner agencies.

But did you know that we do much more? In addition to raising money for our local partner agencies, we also provide programs to the community as a whole through our initiatives.

Our Kid’s Bright and Healthy initiative is a program that helps homeless and low income children receive medical, dental and vision care that they may not afford otherwise. Any child who has health or physical issues that inhibits them from learning, and parents and family who do not have the means to pay to resolve the issues may find that the Kid’s Bright and Healthy program can provide financial assistance. United Way collaborates with local health care providers and medical suppliers to negotiate costs, and school staff and counselors for referrals.

River Cities United Way is also the hosting agency for the La Paz/Mohave Oral Health Coalition. The coalition is comprised of a network of local oral health advocates and health providers to offer kindergarten level education and awareness. This year the coalition hosted their kindergarten curriculum “Happy Healthy Smiles” in which 1,300 students in 53 classrooms, at 20 schools, and in eight communities across two counties received thousands of dollars in oral health supplies and educational materials to help them grow happy and healthy.

Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps eligible taxpayers obtain tax credits and deductions, especially Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Education Tax Credit, and Child Care deductions. If you have a household income of $64,000 or less and file a basic tax return, then you can have your federal and state taxes prepared at one of VITA sites each tax season for free. This year in Kingman alone we filed taxes for 108 families, saving them an average of $200 or more on tax preparation fees.

If you prefer to file your own taxes, United Way has partnered with H&R Block to provide you with an opportunity to keep 100 percent of your refund by saving $200 or more on tax preparation fees. Again, if you made a household income of less than $64,000, then you can file a federal and up to three state tax returns electronically for free at myfreetaxes.com.

Finally, River Cities United Way has partnered with FamilyWize to provide a prescription savings card where everyone in our community can save up to 75 percent on prescriptions. This is not insurance. Rather, it is a program that offers immediate discounts on prescription drugs at participating pharmacies. In 2016, 1,368 people in Kingman utilized this program and saved over $100,000.

Upcoming events

• Annual Kingman Charity Golf Tournament – 8 a.m. Saturday at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course. Contact me if you are interested in sponsoring or participating in this great event.

• Horseshoe Tournament & Family Fun Day – Saturday, July 29 at Centennial Park. Contact me if you are interested in sponsoring or participating in this great event.

• River Cities United Way Kingman Day of Caring Annual City Wide Community Clean Up – Saturday, Sept. 9. River Cities United Way, Kingman Clean City Commission and C.A.R.E., aka Sandbox Beautification Committee, are encouraging families, local businesses, civic clubs, churches and other groups to get involved in our community by registering volunteer teams to help.

For more information about any of our events and programs or to get involved with our local United Way go to www.RCUW.org, or contact your local office at 928-753-6720 or dawn@rcuw.org.