For 131 years, Mile High United Way has united the full force of the community to fight for the education, health, and financial stability for everyone in Metro Denver. We believe everyone in our community should have the opportunity to succeed, even if the odds are stacked against them. That’s why we unite individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and government partners to change these odds.
Our vision: A community united to create opportunities for all.
Our goals: Our agenda is the community’s agenda— we stand with our residents, business leaders, and policymakers—to take action together and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those with greatest need. We are changing the odds for the children, families, and individuals in Metro Denver through four interconnected community impact goals:
• Giving All Children a Strong Start: Ensuring all children receive the early childhood development they need to enter school ready to succeed.
• Reading Matters: Ensuring all children are reading at or above grade-level by the end of third grade.
• Developing Tomorrow’s Talent: Ensuring all youth graduate from high school ready for post-secondary education or the workforce.
• Creating Economic Opportunity for All: Ensuring people can meet their basic needs and are afforded every opportunity to move toward economic success.
45th annual Mile High United Way Turkey Trot
10 am, Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day
Washington Park, Denver, CO
Run, walk, or trot through the 4-mile course on Thanksgiving morning. Named one of the best Thanksgiving events in the U.S. by the Forbes Travel Blog, the Turkey Trot is a family-friendly, fun way to raise money for the individuals, children, and families in our community who need us most.
An investment in Mile High United Way is an investment in the future of Metro Denver. For more information on how to get involved visit: unitedwaydenver.org
Corporate Partnerships: Mile High United Way is proud to partner with hundreds of local companies to execute strong, effective CSR programs that positively impact the community while improving employee engagement and business returns.
Tocqueville Society: Powerful philanthropic leaders who invest $10,000 or more annually in Mile High United Way.
Women United: A growing force of women dedicated to creating a world of opportunity for everyone. Women United members invest $1,000 or more annually in Mile High United Way.
Leadership Society: Community leaders annually investing $1,000 or more to change lives and transform the future of Metro Denver.
LINC: Socially minded young professionals engaging in unique volunteer events that elevate their community and connections.
Catalyst Society: Driven business leaders who are committed to personal, professional and philanthropic development in order to become community champions for Metro Denver.
Legacy Society: Thoughtful and strategic philanthropists who are shaping the future of our community for generations to come.
Volunteering can be a deeply rewarding experience and can provide lasting change for a stronger community. Find your opportunity today and make a meaningful difference in Metro Denver. Ready to volunteer with us? Visit Volunteer United at volunteer.unitedway.org to learn more about our volunteer opportunities and other exciting ways to get involved in your community:
Corporate Volunteer Opportunities: A robust volunteer program is a great way to give back to the community while enhancing your corporate visibility, team building, and engaging employees in causes they care about. It’s also a ton of fun.
Project Homeless Connect: A free resource fair for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. Volunteers are paired one-on-one with individuals to guide them through the event and help them access resources.
Mile High United Way Turkey Trot: Give back to the community on Thanksgiving Day! Our annual 4-mile run/walk has become a Colorado Thanksgiving tradition for many, and our volunteers help make this event possible.
Power Lunch: Power Lunch brings together volunteers and students from second- and third-grade classes in the Metro Denver area to read one-on-one , weekly or bi-weekly, during the school year.
Catherine Hance, MHUW Vice Chair
Partner, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
Why is this non-profit so important to you? What is your WHY for supporting them?
Mile High United Way is focused on enabling every member of our community to have the opportunity to succeed, through a focus on four key community goals: early childhood education, so children start school ready to succeed; supporting programs to ensure all children are reading at or above grade-level by third grade; enabling young people to graduate from high school ready for post-secondary education or a vocation; and creating economic opportunity for all, through financial coaching, strategic investment grants, operation of the 2-1-1 help center and small business advisory services.
This kind of holistic support for families – by assisting parents to support their families while enabling children to succeed educationally and improve their odds of remaining in school through graduation and having better opportunities once they graduate – is critical in my mind to enable families to break through cycles of poverty.
I support Mile High United Way because I have seen the benefit in my own family that education can provide – it opens doors to opportunities that might otherwise be unimaginable. I feel strongly that each child in our community should have access to that opportunity, regardless of their socioeconomic background.
What is one thing you wish the Denver business community knew about this non-profit?
How much direct engagement in the community Mile High United Way has. I think there is a perception of United Ways as being pass through organizations that facilitate funding to other organizations but do not operate their own programming; while Mile High United Way does partner with other organizations and agencies and facilitate funding for other organizations, a significant part of what Mile High United Way does in the community is its direct programming. Bridging the Gap is a great example of that. When young people exit the child welfare system at 18, it can be incredibly difficult to find resources. Mile High United Way provides supportive services to those youth, to facilitate their transition to adulthood, including assisting individuals with finding housing and employment, providing independent living coaching, completing high school and pursuing additional educational opportunities.
How long have you supported this non-profit and what positive changes have you seen since you starting working with them?
I have supported Mile High United Way for 20 years, since I joined Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. There are so many things Mile High United Way does, but 3 programs begun during this period that really attack critical areas of need in my mind are: implementation and operation of the 2-1-1 system, providing access to community resources, including housing, mental health, child care, and food assistance; Bridging the Gap, which provides resources to young people exiting the child welfare system; and the United Neighborhoods program, which focuses on academic and economic stability for children and families in under-resourced communities in the Metro Denver area, such as the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
Does this non-profit have any special events or initiatives that the community can get involved in? What has your participation experience been like? Please describe.
Mile High United Way has numerous programs that the community can get involved with, easily accessible through volunteer.unitedway.org. Opportunities range from single day events, such as volunteering at a Project Homeless Connect resource fair or the Children’s Holiday Party, to long term engagement through Mile High United Way’s Power Lunch program, where a volunteer is paired with a student to read over lunch one on one, once per week throughout the school year. In addition, Mile High United Way has a program called United Business Advisory, which provides small business owners guidance and support to start or grow their businesses; there are numerous volunteer opportunities for business community members to assist with accounting, financial, legal, marketing and similar issues.
One of the first significant projects I worked on for Mile High United Way was the Brunetti Lofts project, which is a housing development in the RiNo neighborhood, now operated by Volunteers of America, which provides housing for around 25 low income households, with financial, educational and business coaching and assistance.
What is the biggest challenge this non-profit is facing and how can the Denver business community help?
With the cost of living in Denver and other challenges we are facing (such as reduced federal government funding and the opiate crisis) the need for services from Mile High United Way has never been greater. The cover of Time magazine from September 24, 2018 fully reflects the issues facing Denver – fully employed teachers cannot afford to live in communities like ours now. This is just as true for people in a broad swath of industries and positions. Most of your readers, myself included, have enjoyed the benefit of our robust economy but that benefit has not been universal. Our community and our businesses cannot succeed in the long term without there being opportunity for all. I would encourage all business community members to visit unitedwaydenver.org and look into opportunities to volunteer or donate to support Mile High United Way.