Today I had the privilege to attend the 2011 Campaign Kickoff breakfast for the United Way of Greater St. Joseph. I will admit that when I woke up early this morning on what is usually my day off from waking up early, I wasn’t all that excited for the breakfast. My mood immediately changed as soon as we pulled on to MWSU’s campus for the meeting. You can feel the positive energy coursing through people, people that have to get things done because they love this community.
I wanted to take a minute and brag on our community and our United Way. One of the speakers today talked about how sometimes the only media coverage we seem to absorb is negative. I hear people talking badly about our community, the community that they are a part of, way too often. These people also seem to be the people that are sitting around and not doing anything to make it better. One speaker talked about how there are times that we as humans want to sit, but the times and feelings that make us want to stand are more powerful. For instance, when we are frustrated we usually stand, when we are excited we jump up and stand, and when we need to get things done, we stand. He asked us all to stand up and be frustrated for the children in our community that are living in poverty, be excited that our United Way uses 92 cents of every dollar for local programs and services here in our community (let that soak in – seriously, 92 cents of every dollar you donate goes back to your community!), and stand up to get things done here.
Do you know what the United Way does in our area? I have to admit that I didn’t know as much as I should have known about it until this past year. This year I served on an allocations committee and learned a lot about our partner agencies and what the United Way does. By supporting the United Way we support the education, health, and financial stability of our community and the agencies that are focused on those areas. I think it’s important to understand what your money and time are going to, and so I listed the 19 partner agencies at the end of this post if you are curious. The United Way supports these 19 agencies that you have probably heard of, benefited from, or know someone they have helped.
The campaign goal was announced today, and it’s a big one. I’m not going to tell you it’s not. But I completely believe we can get there. The United Way hopes to raise 3.3 million dollars this year - and because of the help of the companies that have already run their campaigns, an almost million dollar dent has been made in that goal! If you want to know more about how you can give to, advocate for, or volunteer with the United Way take a look at their website: stjosephunitedway.org
Here is a list of the 19 partner agencies the United Way supports:
American Red Cross
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The CENTER, A Samaritan Center
Children’s Mercy Hospital
Community Missions Corporation
Family Guidance Center
Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri
Legal Aid of Western Missouri
Northwest Missouri Community Services
Pony Express Council, Boy Scouts of America
St. Joseph Safety and Health Council
Specialty Industries of St. Joseph, Inc.
United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Missouri