Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer brings garden harvesting and United Way campaigning

It’s an exciting time of year. The weather is still warm and inviting for summer activities and preseason football is finally here, tempting me until regular season snaps begin. But one of the most rewarding things in August is the garden harvest. All of our hard work is starting to bear fruits and vegetables.

Gardening takes planning, preparation and a fair amount of patience. And as I look at my calendar for the year ahead, I can’t help notice the parallels between United Way’s work and the work of harvesting a garden.

People with green thumbs and farmers start their work by knowing their land. They know when to plant and how far apart the seeds and rows should be. United Way’s starting point is to stay informed about needs of the community. Volunteers review local program applications each spring and decide funding for those that address the Marshfield area’s most critical needs.

The objective for the garden often is to produce enough fruits and vegetables for canning or freezing for use over the winter. United Way’s objective is to create opportunities of a better life for everyone. To help achieve that goal, one strategy is to raise money through the community campaign.

Soon United Way Drive Chairs, staff and Partner Programs will visit your workplace. Fundraising events like brat frys, office mini golf or dunk tanks will be gracing companies across the Marshfield area. These events and activities are like the upkeep of a garden, weeding and pruning to keep the plants fruitful. Judging a decorating contest is way more fun than pulling weeds though.

Finally the time comes to pick the tomatoes, beans, peppers and cucumbers. These are the tasty results of months of hard work. The result of your contribution to the United Way campaign is just as fulfilling. It’s the smile of a child whose mentor helps her turn her life around. It’s a family who has some place to turn after a fire destroys their home. And it’s a man and woman who can stay in the home where they raised their children because of a budgeting class.

Like the amazing work of nature when vegetables grow from tiny seeds, a contribution to United Way has creates long lasting results in the lives of families, individuals, seniors and youth in our community.

Get involved: Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. To learn more visit or call 384-9992.

Contributed by Stacey Oelrich, United Way’s 2-1-1 Program Coordinator and Communications Director