2017 Gifts of Hope Year End Blog
Get Back Your Passion for Our Community: Give the Gift of Hope
Gifts of Hope Blog #1
Posted December 1, 2017
When I started writing this first intro blog for our Gift of Hope campaign I thought, how can I communicate what United Way is in a real way? Not the canned explanation of what United Way does, not a list of data points, but why is United Way important?
After going to church last night I gained better clarity and completely scrapped my first draft. The message I heard was about being idle in life, just phoning it in and going through the motions of your daily life. This happens to all of us, we lose the passion for things that are important and the drive to do good and impact others.
We get bogged down by the minutia of life, all of the little details that need our attention to keep the household running from one day to the next. It can be tough to take a minute to breathe and think about the bigger picture when social media, work, kids, bills, etc. are all competing for our time.
Then there are people asking for you to give to their cause. Something posted on Facebook, a plea to round up at the drive thru window, a ringing bell as you enter a store, and the list goes on. And we just tune all of it out.
So what do you listen to through the noise? How do you not remain idle? How can you make a difference on a larger scale in Adams County?
United Way IS the passion for our community. It is not idle. It is the heartbeat that keeps everything flowing and moving to keep our community growing and improving. If you take a step back and look at Adams County, United Way guides and collaborates with community solutions teams and volunteers, provides direct services to those in need and fundraises to support agencies across the county. United Way volunteers decide what programs the funds will support and meticulously evaluate each agency to ensure they are making lasting impact.
For me, United Way is a beacon of hope for those whose lives have reached a point of despair, have unmanageable pain and suffering and need that helping hand to get back on track. I live a life where I know if I have a tragedy, I have the support to help me get through it. Imagine what it would be like to be one tragedy away from living on the street. What if the only person you can turn to is your abuser, or the people who brought you into the world do not protect or care for you.
United Way sees the big picture and is the guiding hand, but does not forget the individual. When you are looking at the dollars and cents of everything it can be easy to not see the faces of those affected. United Way stays close to that side of the coin as well. When people have already used every resource they have available they call the United Way HelpLine. When members of our community need financial assistance during tax season, United Way volunteers prepare their tax returns free of charge.
A few weeks ago a woman had no heat in her home and no solution. Through collaboration with Unmet Needs, United Way was able to provide her with a space heater. When she came to pick up the heater her eyes were filled with tears and she could barely speak she was so full of emotion. That small space heater gave her the courage she needed to keep moving forward and hopefully the strength to overcome this difficult time in her life.
When you give to United Way you know your dollar is making a difference. United Way sees the big picture so you don’t have to. United Way cares for the individual on your behalf. When you give to United Way you are giving the gift of hope. This can be a financial gift or the investment of time as a volunteer. When you partner with United Way you are moving your community forward – you are not idle.
Over the next few weeks of this holiday season United Way will be sharing “Faces of Hope” from members of our community that were brave enough to share their story and how United Way has made an impact in their life. We will also be sharing more stories like this one from those that give, advocate and volunteer with United Way. We hope you will join us this year in giving the gift of hope.
Have a wonderful Christmas season full of joy,
Member of your community and
Director of Community Impact & Investment for United Way of Adams County