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Darleen Rodgers begins her position representing the community with United Way of Central Oregon

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Darleen Rodgers was recently hired by United Way of Central Oregon as Ambassador for Crook County.United Way has been strengthening Central Oregon communities since 1953.

The nonprofit has served Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, investing in the most-needed programs and services in these communities. United Way partners with the business community to achieve the goals of supporting and investing in future solutions to the challenges that they have historically addressed through funding, such as basic needs, safety net and prevention.

In 2020, United Way of Deschutes County became United Way of Central Oregon. This year, they added an ambassador for each of the tri-county areas. Darleen Rodgers, of Prineville, recently began her new position as ambassador of Crook County. She remarked that United Way is seeking to be more visible in the tri-county area.

"That is their goal, to become more visible in Crook County, and to become more involved in the needs of the community and to make the community aware also of things that are currently being assisted by United Way," explained Rodgers. "So, the term ambassador is very appropriate. It gives me the chance, and the gift, to represent the community I live in, as well as United Way of Central Oregon."

She worked with United Way of Deschutes County as the director of development and resources in past years. There will be outreach going forward, in the tri-county area. As ambassador for Crook County, Rodgers commented that there has not been representation for a very long time.

"I am very excited to do that, because I will learn more about my own community, as well as providing information that some of our local nonprofits may find helpful and assist them as able."

The money raised stays in the local community and will serve the Crook County community. United Way partners with local nonprofits that address homelessness, child abuse, basic needs and more, through strategically invested grant funding.

United Way of Central Oregon fights for the health, education, financial stability and resilience of every person in the Central Oregon community. Nonprofits that match these four areas of need are potential recipients as community impact partners.

Some of the 2021 community impact partners in Crook County include Redemption House, who received a $5,000 grant from United Way and Crook County Foundation in the past week. Other Central Oregon recipients, who also affect Crook County, included CASA of Central Oregon, Children's Forest of Central Oregon, Central Oregon Council on Aging, Family Access Network, Heart of Oregon Corps, MountainStar Family Relief Nursery, NeighborImpact Housing and Homeless Services, Rimrock Trails Treatment Services, SMART, and Saving Grace.

According to their website, "These four areas are irretrievably bound to the success of every child, every individual, every family, every community, and every economy. They are interconnected and, when strategically addressed, conspire to create communities where all people thrive."

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