Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unlock power of individuals uniting to improve lives

Last month at our United Way Kick off our incredible speaker Paul Wesselmann spoke on how our actions both good and bad influence those around us. Paul encourages small acts of compassion and kindness during our daily life, and one way that he does it is through Ripple cards he distributes to everyone at his presentations.

Paul said the message on the Ripple card was one we needed to receive at this point in our life. Mine said, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.” As I have been doing United Way campaign presentations at workplaces I have been sharing this message, and it is becoming somewhat of a mantra. Do what you can.

I’m not sure how my business is going to be able to support United Way this year since business is down. Do what you can. I’m nervous about the economy. Do what you can. I hear about layoffs, wage freezes and downsizing. Do what you can.

If we all do what we can, we will be able to provide for the needs in our community. United Way has some incredibly faithful donors who I know with 100% confidence will do what they can.

But , we need you too. If you did not give to United Way last year, our community needs you to “do what you can” this year.

I recently witnessed the power of our community. Every year United Way does a backpack and school supply drive for families that need help. This year we had a 100 more children than were signed up the previous year, and we were expecting about 340 children.

The only problem was six days before the pick-up day, we had 37 backpacks in our office! Through a flurry of emails and radio announcements we had an outpouring of support with 400 backpacks and an abundance of school supplies. It was amazing and humbling as people did what they could, dropped off backpacks and supplies and handed me checks to help out.

It’s easy to give when the economy is good, but it is important to give when times get tough. How will you step up to support your community? Do what you can.

To give to United Way contact your workplace coordinator or Human Resources, visit www.marshfieldareaunitedway.org and click Give or call 384-9992.

Paula Jero, Marshfield Area United Way’s Executive Director

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