Friday, March 21, 2008

Like movies, United Way is a collaborative effort

By Stacey Oelrich, Communications Director

I have spring fever, but that doesn’t make the snow go away any faster. So, I find myself with the opportunity to dust off favorites from my DVD collection.

After watching a DVD, I always check back to the main menu to see if the film makers included special features. It is such a treat to see behind the lights, effects and editing to experience the journey taken in the film’s production.

If Marshfield area’s daily life was captured for the silver screen, United Way’s work has a chapter in these special features.

Marshfield Area United Way’s mission is to increase our community’s capacity to care for one another. Through this mission, it is our goal to provide individuals and families the building blocks to a better life. But like the movies, the final product represents only a fraction of the work.

Our work starts with identifying community needs and evaluating services during Vision Councils. Then these needs and results are taken to a committee that reviews program funding applications.

Like making movies, creating positive change in a community takes a huge collaborative effort. Our volunteers take the matter of investing contributor dollars very seriously. They make hard decisions to fund programs that address the Marshfield area’s most critical needs.

Funded programs work to get the heart of an issue, identifying the root cause. Their programming offers preventative measures as well as helps individuals and families work towards change.

You can see this change in our results. Youth are receiving a good start, building self-esteem and decision making skills. Families are gaining financial stability, learning to budget and working their way out of debt. Individuals and families are getting back on track through support and counseling.

So the next time you finish a movie, I encourage you to check those special features. Watch a commentary from the cast or a look at the technology of special effects. Remember the two hours you just experienced is only a fraction of the hard work.

Life in our community is the same. Take the time to enjoy the feature, but also to appreciate the efforts behind the scenes. United Way, volunteers and programs are working every day of the year to make the Marshfield area a better place to live and work.

To learn more about United Way’s results and how you can be a part of change visit or call 394-9992.