It Takes A Community To Change The Odds

Arrow Watch video:   United Way of Treasure Valley.
Arrow Watch video:   Twin County / Lewiston United Way Campaign.
Arrow Watch video:   United Way of Southeastern Idaho.
Arrow Watch video:   United Way of North Idaho.


Fall is upon us once again. For many, this is a time to enjoy the cooler weather, fall sports and other seasonal traditions that bring us joy. But for those without a coat or a permanent home, or for those struggling to get to school or work on these shorter, cooler days, fall means something different.

My name is Dave Jeppesen, Director of the Department of Health and Welfare, and I feel very fortunate to be serving as the State Chair for this year's United We Care campaign. As a former member of the United Way of Treasure Valley's Board of Directors, I am a believer in their mission, and I am a long-time donor. I have witnessed the humbling needs of Idahoans in our communities, including our 4,500 homeless students in the Treasure Valley. I have also seen what can happen when people, resources, and a shared vision can turn into tangible, meaningful, and sometimes life-changing results.

Sacajawea Elementary School in Caldwell is an example of this. This rural and isolated school has a high population of low-income residents and homeless students. Many of these young students are in need of resources such as food, clothing, counseling, and healthcare services. United Way saw this need and jumped right in, launching the community school initiative. The goal is to identify barriers to success and find ways to overcome them. United Way worked with the school and local providers to bring counselors and mobile dental services onsite. They also worked to give students access to food and clothing, and to increase access to public transportation to and from the school. The initiative has been a resounding success! Absenteeism and student behavioral challenges have decreased dramatically, and grades have increased.

Director Dave Jeppesen United We Care 2019 Chair
Director Dave Jeppesen,
United Way Holiday Helper 2018

You might ask yourself how you fit into all of this. It is easy. I encourage State of Idaho employees to consider donating to the United We Care campaign. Payroll deductions make it easy and you may not even miss the extra $5 or $10 per pay period*. You can designate one or multiple non-profits, or donate to the United Way Community Fund, where grants are given to non-profits to address specific community needs. Let's do this together and see some amazing things happen! It takes a community to change the odds for kids and families.


Dave Jeppesen
IDHW Director

*Payroll deductions are determined by the donor. Donations must be at least $1.00.


Why should I participate in the Idaho State Employees' Charitable Giving Campaign?

You can be the one to change someone's life for the better.
  • You choose the amount to give and decide which organization(s) to support.
  • You choose how to give.  Options include payroll deduction, check, cash, credit card, or through agency fundraising events.

Why shouldn't I give directly to my charity of choice?

  • Simply put, efficiency.  Payroll deduction pledges allow charities to forecast income for the entire year.  United Way makes pledge information available to agencies at the conclusion of the state's annual campaign.  Bundling multiple contributions into a single payment to the various charities reduces the amount of time and money the charities would otherwise spend processing individual donations.