Wednesday, January 25, 2006

United Way Sets Sights on What Matters

Entry by: Kim Baltus, Executive Director

It is a time of new beginnings at Marshfield Area United Way and our organization is already off to a great start. As the new Executive Director, I’ve spent the last two weeks getting acquainted with the staff, my office and all that’s in it and planning for the last week’s thank you celebration for our very successful campaign that our community recently completed.

Individuals and employers in the Marshfield area really showed their ongoing generosity by raising $950,113. Drive Chair Jim Coleman said maybe our theme should’ve been “Against All Odds.” We faced significant national situations that could’ve had a negative impact on our campaign – Hurricane Katrina, drastic increases in fuel prices, and more. I’m so pleased our donors understand that our needs on a local level remain no matter what occurs in our larger world. Our donors and volunteers never lost sight of this and for that I’m most thankful.

As a long-time volunteer and former board member, I certainly am familiar with most of the tasks and activities in this office. However, as Executive Director, I need to develop a stronger depth of all the projects, programs and initiatives that we are responsible for. The lines of my legal pad are filling fast.

Within this organization, the area I’m most familiar with is Community Impact. As former chair of the Allocations Committee, I worked very closely with panel volunteers to interview program representatives and determine funding needs for the year ahead. This annual process will begin again real soon. Over the past several years, we made the shift to the community impact model at the direction of the United Way of America. This necessitated that we prioritize the human service needs of our community and work very diligently to meet those emerging needs. As a result, we formed Vision Councils, comprised of people who have knowledge, expertise and/or interest in a particular area of focus.

To that end, I’m excited to announce Sarah Krenn is our new Community Impact/Volunteer Center Coordinator. Sarah joins our organization with significant experience in the non-profit sector and working with volunteers. She’s completed her second week and is already working on reconvening our three Vision Councils – youth, families & seniors and community & basic needs. In addition, to celebrate and honor their hard work, planning for our volunteer recognition event in April is underway.

So, we’re pleased 2006 has gotten off to such a great start. We’ve had the opportunity to celebrate our community and volunteer campaign accomplishments. Now, we look to the future. We set our sights and goals with the ever present thought of doing what matters in our community to improve lives and offer hope to those we serve.

No comments: