Local United Way helps fill in the G.A.P.
“John” was struggling to make ends meet. He was behind in his rent and “Disconnection Notice” was a recurring theme of his utility bills. Out of work for a few months, he was running out of options. He was relieved when he found out a job tip paid off as he was hired for a temporary position that could lead to permanent employment. The problem was he had no transportation, as the city bus did not venture to that area of town. “John” sought assistance at a local agency that, unfortunately, had run out of funds for the day. The agency contacted the United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County for assistance in hopes of finding a solution for “John’s” dilemma.
The organization is one of more than 30 non-profit organizations representing business, government, health care and social services that partner with the United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County.
The United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County offered assistance to “John” via funds in its Grombacher Assistance Program (G.A.P.) Emergency/Crisis Fund. Named in honor of Gerd S. “GG” Grombacher, the founding member of the United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County and former Fort Huachuca commanding general, the G.A.P. sets aside $2,500 monthly for community members in dire straits (i.e. home utilities, food, car repairs, etc.) who request assistance through United Way partner agencies – helping to fill in the “GAP”.
The G.A.P. assisted “John” by purchasing him a bicycle, which he used as transportation for work at his new job. From his first paycheck, “John” left a check at the office of the United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County covering the original amount of the bicycle along with additional funds. In an accompanying note, he wrote, “…Please include this check as a donation to your (G.A.P.) funds in hopes that it helps someone as you have helped me…”
“John’s” desire to “pay it forward” speaks volumes for the way this community comes together in good and bad times.
In an effort to help more community members, the United Way of Sierra Vista and Cochise County hosted its 5th Annual Grombacher Assistance Program Benefit Dinner Friday, Nov. 2nd at the Windemere Hotel & Conference Center in Sierra Vista.
Ellen Grombacher, 93, had been an honored guest at each dinner to honor her husband’s legacy. She still resides in the area but was unable to attend this year’s gala. Their son, Kerry, a musician who resides in New Orleans, graciously represented the family. “My father, though a decorated Soldier, was most proud of his work with the United Way,” Kerry said. “This event, and the Grombacher Assistance Program are great examples of the constant, continuing examples of how this community pulls together to help others. My parents and our entire family remain forever proud of the United Way and the Grombacer Assistance Program.”
For more information about how to donate to the Grombacher Assistance Program, or to seek assistance, contact Anthony Reed at 458-3288 or 234-4302 (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Anthony Reed is the Executive Director of the United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County.)
United Way of Sierra Vista & Cochise County held its 5th Annual Grombacher Assistance Dinner Friday, Nov. 2nd at the Windemere Hotel & Conference Center. The program sets aside $2,500 monthly for community members in dire straits (i.e. home utilities, food, car repairs, etc.) who request assistance through United Way partner agencies.