Op/Ed

Editorial: The mirror UWAC holds reflects who we want to be

ANGELO LYNN

There are some local annual events that are so important they can’t be hyped enough. Kicking off the annual United Way of Addison County’s fundraising is one of them. The 2024 goal is $700,000, and the well-versed team will be seeking to make it the fifth consecutive year to top their milestone. With everyone’s help, they will.

But don’t take anything for granted. 

This year’s motto, “United in Purpose,” is a fitting tribute to the county’s ethos and it begins with this weekend’s Days of Caring on Sept. 21-23, tapping into a 200-strong workforce ready to help where needed. (See story page 1A.) If you or your business can’t contribute to those work hours this weekend, UWAC has established “Days of Action” opportunities throughout the year. Executive Director Helena Van Voorst referred to those days as “microbursts of volunteering.” It’s a great way for businesses, or individuals, to donate volunteer hours to area nonprofits at times that are most convenient to them. Anyone interested should log on to the UWAC’s online volunteer center at tinyurl.com/mu7dyeth.

While volunteer hours are wonderful, monetary gifts are also essential. Last year, 871 households contributed, with 607 in increments of less than $1,000, 209 donors making gifts between $1,000 and $9,999, and 13 donors making gifts of $10,000 or more. Out of 15,000 households in the county, it would be a great goal to see that number of participating households increase substantially; we can each help do that but not assuming others will pick up the slack to hit the goal, but chip in to be a part of that success.

Addison County businesses are also playing an important role through a UWAC program called “Addison County 365 Business Circle,” a group of businesses who contribute between $1 and $4 dollars a day to the campaign.

Whatever an individual or business can afford, what’s critical is that it’s a community-wide effort reflecting the sense that we’re all in this — our collective lives — together. Each contribution helps someone in need, which in turn builds a stronger community. And it’s not how much you give, but that you do. When we’re all in it together and that’s the community ethos, our best selves are reflected in the mirror UWAC holds before us.

Angelo Lynn

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