Northern Colorado is a beautiful place, filled with gorgeous mountains, fun activities, hoppin' towns, and more.

However, despite all of this beauty, Northern Colorado also has its problems. There are young children with literacy issues, families struggling to find homes, and older adults coping with the difficulties of aging.

60% of third graders in Colorado cannot read at their grade level.

In Weld County alone, 1 in 5 households are considered cost-burdened, or at risk of homelessness. In terms of the elderly, almost 8% of those 65+ are living below the poverty level.

Thankfully, the United Way of Weld County, an organization dedicated to assisting vulnerable citizens in the area, is here to help.

By collaborating with businesses, schools, citizen groups, and more, the establishment is tackling some of the most prevalent health and human care concerns in Weld County.

"We have to work together to solve issues and problems," said Christi Smith, United Way's Vice President of Resource Development. "You can't do everything alone."

You, too, can join the United Way in bettering the community. They are looking for volunteers, and soon.

While they appreciate volunteers year-round, the United Way is in need of help for their upcoming event Weld Project Connect, which takes place from 12-4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 18 at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley.

The annual event hosts numerous volunteers, who provide on-site services (such as flu shots, haircuts, and more) to individuals struggling with homelessness, age, health problems, and other issues.

The organization also holds training sessions for event volunteers, so anyone in the community can participate in some way, regardless of skill level.

"It is so moving and so exciting," said Smith. "Everybody at Weld Project Connect comes away with this massive feeling of 'man, that was awesome'."

To learn more about the United Way of Weld County and how to get involved with Weld Project Connect, listen to the full interview with Christi Smith below.

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