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The North Eddy County United Way is commencing its 2016 campaign and inviting Artesia residents to “be part of the change.”

“When we reach out a hand to one, we can influence the condition of all,” says Shaye Coats, campaign chairman. “That’s what it means to live united; that’s what it means to be part of the change.”

The organization is seeking the public’s assistance, financially and through volunteer and advocacy efforts.

“What seems to be a simple act for some, like volunteering to deliver a meal to someone who is homebound, may be the only meal that person will eat that day,” says Coats. “By giving generously to a nonprofit organization such as United Way, you are providing food for the hungry, a roof over someone’s head, clothes on their back, or even hope for a future without addiction.

“Every time you choose to speak up and advocate for someone without a voice, you are impacting the life of that person and of people you don’t even know. By speaking up for something you believe is right or wrong, you are part of the change.”

The 2016 North Eddy County United Way Board of Directors is comprised of Shaun Weaver, chairman, David Grousnick, president, Ben Harvey, first vice president, Coats, second vice president, Julie Gibson, third vice president, Pam Horner, secretary, Elizabeth Stephens, assistant secretary, and Gary Sims, treasurer.

Division chairpersons include John Bain, agriculture division; Ginny Bush, business division; Shannon Johnson, corporate division; Christy Takacs, education division; Sandra Farley, government division; David Taylor, oil and gas division; Sims, professional division; Weaver, special events; and Danielle Parker, special gifts.

Members at large are Leslie Atkins, Dusty Bean, Chance Chase, Tyler Deans, Connie Esquibel, Gibson, Johnson, Danny Parker, Monica Reyes, Peggy Scott and Vicky Townley.

The United Way will be aiding 14 member agencies in the coming year. Those include the 7024U Youth Outreach Center; Artesia Advocacy Center; Artesia Drug & Crime Coalition; Artesia Emergency Relief; Artesia Meals on Wheels; Artesia PATHway; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Boy Scouts, Conquistador Council; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest; Grammy’s House; Habitat for Humanity; St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Pecos Valley; and the Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation.

The organization’s total goal for 2016 is $157,000.