August 2021
United Moments with UWYC
A Note from Katie Edwards, Board Chair

Welcome Summer 2021! If any of you feel like I do, the sun seems to be shining a bit brighter this year compared to 2020. There is a buzz in the air again and it feels so good to be able to safely reconnect with friends and family!

My name is Katie Edwards and I am the UWYC Board Chair for this upcoming fiscal year. I am a commercial lender at Western Security Bank, a Division of Glacier Bancorp, who is supporting United Way this year by participating in Day of Caring and the Workplace Campaign. My husband, Chris, and I have been married for 10 years and have 2 children: Callahan (4 years) and Collins (10 months). I have been a member of the Board since June 2016 and have been involved with United Way since I moved to Billings in 2008. I am both excited and terrified to take on this new role as it is going to be difficult to follow the footsteps of Brenda Koch and Karla Stauffer! However, we have a very engaged and robust Board with some new faces, so I am eager to dive in and continue the great work of UWYC!

One thing that has not changed in this past year (or the past 60, for that matter), is United Way’s commitment to our mission and to the community!  We have been busy wrapping up our 60th Birthday Blowout, expanding CARE Academy to Laurel, gearing up for Campaign, conducting a Strategic Planning Session with our Board and Staff, and much more! We cannot wait to share some of the exciting ideas and future hopes for UWYC that came out of that planning session!

Enjoy your Summer, and look forward to hearing from us again soon as we kickoff Campaign 2021-2022!
2021 CommUnity Rally
We rally for change. We rally for crisis stabilization. We rally for resilience. We rally for senior independence. We rally for individuals battling with addiction. We rally for families. We rally for the health and wellness of our community. We rally for Yellowstone County! Together, we can make an impact in preparing children to succeed in school, providing pathways for financial stability, and improving the health and safety for our community.

The CommUnity Rally of 2021 kicks off United Way's efforts around Days of Caring, our Community Fund Campaign, and the Workplace Campaign. We want our businesses, community partners, and donors to rally behind the United Way mission and support those in need. The CommUnity Rally will give you the opportunity to learn more about who your donor dollars support in Yellowstone County and get connected to the best ways to give, advocate, and volunteer!

United Way of Yellowstone County utilizes the CommUnity Rally to address community needs and make a difference through donations. Supporting United Way of Yellowstone County means supporting your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Every penny, every minute, and every person matters.

The 2021 CommUnity Rally will take place at 2173 Overland Avenue on Thursday, September 30, from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. Join us, and let's make a difference together!
Staff Snapshot
Chrissy Brese
Support Service Assistant

Chrissy has been with us for 4 months. She assists with CARE Academy and general office administration.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
My family

What are you listening to/reading these days?
Country & The Doors; children's books

Where is your favorite place to be?
At the lake or camping and hanging out by the fire pit
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mom

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
Disney Imagineer

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
"Save your money and invest in some stock that would yield a great return."
Days Of Caring 2021
UWYC's Day of Caring will become Days of Caring this year. A CommUnity Rally will be held in place of a lunch gathering (see information in this newsletter) and projects will occur on more than one afternoon.
Days of Caring opportunities will consist of several remote, signature events that will be open to anyone. Various companies or organizations may sign-up to participate at their location during a designated timeframe. Projects will benefit community partners. In addition, there will be a limited number of in-person Days of Caring projects that will match a company, in conjunction with their annual giving campaign, with an opportunity.
Click on View Available Volunteer Opportunities to reach the Days of Caring spotlight banner for more information.
Host a collection drive at your business, faith organization, service club or group to jumpstart United Way’s season of giving and days of caring. This annual collection of school supplies helps stock local school pantries with school supplies and hygiene items to be provided for students’ needs throughout the year.
Collections may start or supply purchases be made at any time with a delivery date of Thursday, September 16. Click on View Available Volunteer Opportunities to reach the Operation Supply spotlight for more information.

Pictured below are out dedicated volunteers helping at Family Service last year!
Share the Good News!
Advocacy Update
Discard Drugs with Deterra's Disposal Bags

In 2019, 48 opioid prescriptions were written per 100 people in Montana, compared to 46.7 nationally. People with a prescription opioid use disorder are twice as likely to attempt suicide as individuals who do not misuse prescription opioids. In an attempt to reduce the impact of opioids and other controlled medications on substance abuse disorders, and to reduce risk of deaths by overdose or suicide, RiverStone Health’s Population Health Department has begun making Deterra bags available to businesses in the Yellowstone Valley.

Deterra bags offer an environmentally safe way to dispose of expired and unneeded medications. These biodegradable bags are filled with inactive carbon. To deactivate medications, you just add water, close the bag, and throw it away.

For more information, or to obtain Deterra bags for your business, please contact Kathy Sabol at RiverStone Health at 406.651.6437.

(Credit for Deterra description goes to Sarah Music.)
Youth Volunteer Corps
Virtual Veteran Event
Yellowstone County Continuum of Care
UWYC Receives Superhero Award

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a coalition focused on preventing homelessness. The CoC is involved in many projects, including Low-Barrier Shelter, Coordinated Entry System, Diversion Fund, Housing is Healthcare, and Braiding. Since 2018, the CoC coalition has served over 2,000 persons who are either currently or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Services have included diversion support to prevent homelessness, nearly 10,000 bed nights, and rehousing efforts.

The mission of the Continuum of Care is to create sustainable pathways to safe and stable housing for people who are at risk of or actually experiencing homelessness in Yellowstone County.

"United Way of Yellowstone County is honored to provide backbone support for the Continuum of Care. This dedicated coalition of over 20 local agencies is strengthening our community response to homelessness and making our community a better place." –Dean Wells, Director of Community Impact at UWYC.
Monthly Honor Role
Shout out to these donors who have invested in Yellowstone County's health, education, and financial stability efforts this month! We appreciate your support and generosity!
Dominic Anderson
Deanna Sonju Avent
Shaun Biggerstaff
Michelle Callicott
Tonia Coulter
Joshua Craft
Crisi Davidson
Brittany Dockter
Darrell & Sally Ehrlick
Michael Fitch
Tasha Garfield
Lisa Gernant
Cynthia Greene
Randy Hammerquist
John Hedge
Amy Hess
Lisa Hillis
Alexis Hoke
Kim Jones
Nancy Kolb
Gareld Krieg
Danny Kunsman
Rhonda Laughman
Paula Lee
Merilee McLean
Steven Melia
Joshua Monson
Linda Morton
Daniel Oakes
Seth Penninger
Brian Petersen
Braedan Price
Leslie Roche
Mandeep Shergill
Cody Steinmetz
Nancy Sweet
Matthew Thompson
Raquel Thompson
Samuel Truax
Ada Califano Wassmann
Kristy Wilm
Brian Windhagen
Sign up as a United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator!
Every year, we encourage the entire community to gather funds, knowledge, and passion to address immediate needs regarding education, financial stability, and health. We organize and lead hundreds of organizations in the fight against homelessness, hunger, drug abuse, and kids dropping out of school.
We would like to invite you to be a part of the solution and join us by running a Workplace Campaign this fall.

United Way’s Workplace Campaign is set to kick-off on Thursday, September 30 and our Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC) trainings start in August. The Workplace Giving Campaign is a continued opportunity to position your organization as a philanthropic leader in Yellowstone County, and we hope you will join us! Your role as an ECC provides a critical link between United Way and your co-workers. Through your communication, organization and leadership skills, you enable your co-workers to join in a fight to combat our community’s greatest challenges.

We are offering several 1-hour ECC Trainings. Select one and join us for free food, drinks, and fun! All in-person trainings take place at United Way, 2173 Overland Ave.
  • 8/24/2021 Happy Hour (4pm)
  • 8/25/2021 Lunch (12pm)
  • 8/26/2021 Breakfast (8:30am)
  • 8/27/2021 Virtual (10am)

Please take a moment to fill out this response form to let us know who will be campaigning on behalf of your company/organization. We would appreciate a response by August 20.
Ongoing Events
  • Multiply Your Caring
  • Use your creativity and ideas to spread this important message and encourage action to as many as you possibly can. What methods and communication techniques will you use to SPREAD THE WORD? Start a ripple and let it grow.
  • Annual Campaign
  • The work we do cannot be accomplished without the support of our community. There's still time to make your contribution!
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • We're looking for talented and dedicated community members to join our board and committees. Where can your talents shine?
Does your family, service organization, social group or company want to give back to our community through volunteering? Click the picture above to view current volunteer opportunities in Yellowstone County!

If you would like your organization's opportunities listed, contact Pam: