By Michael J. Baker

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine’s gift bolsters United Way program

Sandia's $50,000 donation helps launch Mission: Families

Sandia’s giving focus areas, depicted here, align nicely with the United Way Mission: Families initiative.

Spreading love on Valentine’s Day, Sandia donated $50,000 to help kickstart United Way of Central New Mexico’s Mission: Families to foster family stability and support student achievement.

“Sandia National Laboratories is committed to making a difference in the lives of those around us,” Labs Director Steve Younger says. “Sandia has a long and distinguished history of partnering with the United Way, and we hope this latest donation will help launch Mission: Families and the important work to be undertaken.”

The donation will act as a catalyst for other donations to Mission: Families, says Kirby Jefferson, chair of the United Way of Central New Mexico board of directors.

“We appreciate the leadership Sandia National Laboratories is providing for our new initiative, Mission: Families, and look forward to the partnerships that will be created by their inspirational gift,” Jefferson says. “Our extensive research indicates the community is supportive of focused strategies that will benefit families and lead to greater success in our goal toward a higher graduation rate.”

Steve presented Sandia’s donation Wednesday during a meeting of the Economic Forum of Albuquerque at the Hotel Albuquerque. He was appearing at the forum to update the business community on Sandia’s national security work and economic impact.

Many of the charitable goals and community accomplishments of Sandia and the United Way align nicely. United Way is working to increase prospects for secure and stable homes for children, improve children’s safety and well-being, and support working families and student success from cradle to career.

Mission: Families will focus on family stability and education and youth development through program investments with nonprofit, government, business, and community partners. Through Mission: Graduate, United Way has already been working on the career aspect, engaging in education and youth development efforts in the community while working with hundreds of partners with the goal of 60,000 new graduates with post-secondary certificates or degrees in central New Mexico by 2020.

The United Way priorities are a perfect fit with Sandia’s new charitable giving priorities of family stability, educational success, and community and economic development, says Sandia Community Involvement Manager Amy Tapia. Sandia’s giving priorities, she says, aim to help families provide stable home environments, inspire students, and grow local businesses and job opportunities in the communities where Sandia employees work and live.

Sandia and its employees are committed to continuing to make a difference through charitable work. Employees and retirees annually contribute more than $5 million to nonprofits in New Mexico, California, and the nation through the United Way of Central New Mexico during its annual giving campaign, which begins in October.