Warriors with a cause! United Way volunteers attack community problems!

Warriors with a cause!
United Way volunteers attack community problems!
By William L. Bulla

Give! Advocate! Volunteer! Live United! This is the battle cry of the United Way as it attacks the many challenging issues facing the citizens of Washington County in the year ahead!
GIVE ... to make a difference!
ADVOCATE ... be a voice in your community!
VOLUNTEER ... lend your talents to change lives!
These volunteer warriors of United Way are attacking issues facing many of our residents in these difficult times. Fighting these issues call upon all people to LIVE UNITED! Together, as a combined force, we can each give a little of our time, talent, money, and vocal support to help our neighbors during these difficult times.
Your United Way works through numerous non-profits, and will continue to do so. These agencies are vital to our community. They enrich many lives and have an immeasurable impact on their quality of life here in Washington County. Our United Way is also looking in a new direction called Community Impact.
Looking to examples from leading United Ways all over the country, your United Way of Washington County is transforming into an organization that strategically invests resources to forward long-term impact to the root causes of the issues facing our community. This requires understanding the issues facing Washington County. United Way will select a limited number of goals and strategies in which to invest time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, and other resources which can begin to make a lasting change in people's lives. Getting focused is essential for delivering meaningful results with limited resources. Once a well-rounded understanding of the areas needing its focus, United Way will align its work to meet the needs of these target areas. After defining community goals, developing strategies to bring about positive change, and aligning its work, United Way will begin to make long-term investments with a focus on lasting change.
Locally, the United Way has kicked-off a week of many activities with Day of Caring on Friday, October 22nd. Nearly 900 volunteers descended upon the county taking on many challenging jobs in its 18th Annual Day of Caring event. First Data is the Lead Sponsor this year. This year local churches and fire companies have teams of volunteers helping out. Projects accomplished include painting, yard work, cleaning, deliveries, and planting a memorial garden. Repairs and maintenance were also done at numerous elderly and disabled residents' homes. It's an amazing sight to see so many volunteers turn out, and accomplishing so much, to provide these services to nonprofit partner agencies and people in need.
United Way's 2010 campaign to raise $1.6 million began August 27th, and will run through January 31, 2011. Currently the campaign has reached 18 percent of its goal. "If everyone in Washington County would give just a few dollars, we could reach this much needed goal," said Leah Gayman, the agency's executive director. A clip-out coupon is located at the end of this article for the convenience of those who would like to help their neighbor during these trying times. This year's campaign co-chairs, Roger Stenersen and Carolyn Brooks, have put together a team to take the United Way message to businesses and organizations in our county.
In recognition of those families contributing $250 or more, there will be a Family Leadership Reception at the Leitersburg Cinema on Wednesday, November 16th. Nick's Airport Inn will contribute a light dinner at the theatre that evening.
During the week ahead, there will be an effort to make the residents of our county aware of the many great needs and accomplishments of United Way throughout our communities. Friday, October 29th has been designated as Black and White-Out day. Volunteers will be seen throughout the community wearing their black and white T-shirts carrying the message "Live United."
Many of these volunteers will also be walking in the Mummer's Parade on Saturday, October 30th.
Living United means being part of the change you want to see accomplished in your community. It is about creating opportunities today that will provide for a better future. We all win when a child succeeds in school, a family becomes financially stable, and when people have good health. By giving a few dollars, reaching out a hand to help someone or by using our voice to champion an issue, creates ripple effects, which are experienced by the community as a whole. By Living United, we create a powerful force! Together, we can accomplish more than any single group can on its own.
Join in! Give! Advocate! Volunteer! Be a warrior for this great cause! Help our Washington County communities Live United!

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.