Safford employees show support for local United Way

Assistant to the Safford City Manager Matt Hoshal, center right, presents United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties Executive Director Denise Benton, center left, with a check for $8,910 raised by the city's employees. Joining in the photo are members of the United Way board and Safford Mayor Jason Kouts. - Contributed Photo

SAFFORD — During Monday’s City Council meeting, City of Safford employees presented the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties with $8,910.08.

“These funds were raised through employee payroll dedications, the Spring Golf Tournament and the Oktoberfest event,” said Matthew Hoshal, assistant to the City Manager and member of the City of Safford United Way Committee.

Debra Gibbs, president of the local United Way board, thanked the employees for their continued support.

“They graciously allow us to provide funds out to our community,” Gibbs said. “Last year, we (granted) over $2 million.”

That money, Gibbs said, supported education in Graham and Greenlee counties, bolstered economic development efforts and provided help for health and nutrition among other projects.

“We can’t do that without the donations from the people in our communities,” Gibbs said.

The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties is currently accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations, schools, governmental bodies and other tax-exempt groups for the first quarter. Projects in the United Way’s three focus areas —economic stability, education and health — are eligible to apply.

Applicants must provide a 31-percent match — either cash or in-kind — of the project’s total budget, except for infrastructure grants, which require a 50-percent match. The deadline to apply for the first grant cycle of 2023 is Feb. 1. The second grant cycle opens March 1.