Hello, and welcome to something I’m hoping to do with each newsletter. I think it’s important for me to engage with our supporters, advocates, donors, and volunteers. Creating a dialogue is valuable to our work, and it’s even at the base, the root of our very name “United Way”
Do you know how we got our start? Have you ever played Monopoly? As a child, I remember excitedly landing on the Community Chest spot and knowing that some great surprise would typically be waiting. But as a competitive youngster, I never really thought about the meaning behind it, nor did I realize until I assumed the role of President and CEO here at United Way of McLean County, that the Community Chest was a part of our history.
A group of passionate volunteers and clergy in Denver, Colorado formed the first “Community Chest” in 1870, and over the next 130 years, it evolved into what we now know as United Way.
Here locally, we started as a Community Chest in 1935, over the last 80 years, we’ve seen a number of transitions and changes, some healthy, and some perhaps not. Through it all, though, our goal has remained constant, to unite the community around an important endeavor.
Over the last 18 months, our local United Way has experienced a variety of challenges and hurdles. Change and challenges like these can do one of two things to a person or an organization:
They can either resign themselves to their fate, or they can move in a new and exciting direction.
When someone moves in a new, and particularly when that new direction is a positive one, we may label it as doing a “180”. At United Way of McLean County, we’re embracing this concept of 180 in our own work, and in the success that we see in other lives, frequently as a result of your generous contributions of your time, talents, and money to our organization.
In the coming weeks and months, you’re going to see more visibility from us in new and exciting ways that leverages this 180 theme, as we look to energize and inspire the people that make possible our work and celebrate the 180’s that result when we choose to “Live United”.
I look forward to sharing more in future updates. Stay tuned!