Editor's note: This is the 20th in a series of stories featuring the 25 agencies that will be receiving money from the Finney County United Way in 2014.
By KELTON BROOKS
As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, children, adults, communities and a variety of service providers all are thankful for the help they received from the United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries.
"Last year, we served patients in 19 different zip codes and continually serve areas in southwest Kansas," Julie Wright, chief operations officer of UMMAM, said. "We are a faith-based organization that provides medical, dental and social services through our four main sites in Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal and Ulysses."
Since 1974, UMMAM has been a nonprofit organization that prides itself in serving people of all races and faith. All UMMAM programs — dental and medical clinics, oral health screening and education, social services such as the food bank, clothing room, emergency assistance, and citizenship classes, immunizations, early literacy, health education and outreach — are designed to improve the lives and health status of individuals and families as a way to build a stronger community.
Wright added that UMMAM serves 22,000 medical and dental encounters a year, 7,000 patients through care centers and 17,000 children in the agency's dental outreach program.
She also said UMMAM receives about $50,000 from the Finney County United Way for the agency's care centers and such programs as Diabetes Outreach and Education — a program that offers self-management education, a low-cost insulin program, free eye exams and foot exams for people with diabetes — in the communities it serves.
"United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries is open to all residents of southwest Kansas, and we welcome any and all who want to participate in services," Wright said.
"No one is turned away if they have an inability to pay."
The United Way's annual campaign goal is $560,000, $10,000 more than last year. The 25 partner agencies for the 2014 campaign include:
Miles of Smiles; Real Men, Real Leaders; Russell Child Development Center; Santa Fe Trail Council — Boy Scouts of America; Seeds of Hope Jail Ministry; Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association; Building Blocks Project through Russell Child Development Center; Spirit of the Plains — CASA, Inc.; St. Catherine Hospital — Lactation Program; United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries; The Salvation Army; United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas; Garden City Recreation Commission — Playground Program; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney & Kearny Counties; Catholic Social Service; Circles of Hope; Community Day Care Center, Inc.; Family Crisis Services, Inc.; Finney County Retired Senior Volunteer Program; Garden City Area Chapter of the American Red Cross; Garden City Family YMCA; Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland; Habitat for Humanity; Kansas Children's Service League; Meals on Wheels.