President's Corner - Share Your Story

UWNEMN PRESIDENT’S CORNER

Share Your Story

My United Way story started when I was coming off of a midnight shift and went directly to a United Way campaign meeting.  I was groggy and tired and signed my donation form to give through payroll deduction, without too much thought.  The presenter then mentioned the Arctic Splash fundraiser as a way to get involved.  It sounded like fun to me and thought I would get a group together to jump into a frozen lake in February (c’mon, it’s a great idea!).  I had no takers, however, so I changed my approach to “If you’re not going to jump, then you are going to pay me to”.  It was a great way to raise a quick $2,500 for United Way.  I took the plunge every year of the event after that – and continued to raise more each year.

It was then mentioned to me that there should be a representative from my then employer on the United Way Board of Directors.  Since I had done some fundraising, I was nominated and started to get more involved.  Learning that all of the donations stay local was eye-opening to me – the vast amount of agencies and extra lives that are touched because of United Way support is astounding.  It was then that I made the most personal connection between my life and United Way.  I opened up the brochure and saw that United Way funds LSS Family Resource Center – the agency where my wife and I adopted our daughters from.  It all came full circle for me at that point – United Way helped enable me to have my family.  At that point, I was all in.

Stories are powerful, personal and connect us to one another.  They can be funny, painful, touching or joyful…or often all of those in one.  UWNEMN has impacted SO MANY during the last 50 years, creating and shaping so many of our stories.  What’s your story?  Whether you have volunteered, donated or have personally been impacted by a United Way program or agency, we want to hear from you.  As a part of our 50th anniversary celebration, UWNEMN is holding a “Share Your Story” contest.  Two story submissions will be chosen to receive $50 Visa gift cards from American Bank.  Visit www.unitedwaynemn.org/share-your-story to submit your story and learn more.  Submissions must be received by Friday, June 3, 2016 to be eligible for the contest.  I encourage you to share your United Way story to inspire, uplift and create awareness. 

 

Pictured: Bruce Kingsley, 2015-16 United Way of Northeastern Minnesota Board President