Viewpoint: United Way's fall campaign makes a difference across Iredell

Posted at 10:55 AM on Sep 2, 2019

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BY PAUL COOK

United Way launches its fall campaign with the goal of growing community service across Iredell County.

When I say the phrase “Community Service,” what image does that evoke for you? I would imagine that it is a different picture that comes to mind for each of us. For some, it may be feeding or providing shelter to someone down on their luck. For others, it may be reading to a young child, or giving them help with a difficult piece of homework and watching the satisfaction that comes with learning a new skill. For others, it may be grieving with a friend who has lost someone dear to them and needs to know that someone shares their loss. Others picture the volunteer from our local rescue squads who comes on site after an accident to bring you to safety.

A couple of common threads unite each of the scenes described above, along with so many more community services that are provided each and every day in our community:

1) Community service is about being there for our friends and neighbors during a time of need and vulnerability. That moment when a helping hand can make the difference between a detour on the path to success or falling into a much more difficult crisis to overcome.

2) These moments of kindness happen in our community because we choose to make that happen. It is because of hard work, sacrifice and determination that these services exist.

I joined the Board of Directors for our local United Way several years ago. As I have come to better know all the programs and services that depend on United Way funding, I’ve learned just how interconnected and interdependent these agencies are. I’ve also learned what a difference can be made with modest gains or losses in the resources that are available to make these programs happen.

Thank you to the thousands of individuals from across our community who work as volunteers, donors and advocates for our United Way and our 21 agency partners. You enabled this network of agencies to provide services over 100,000 times during the last year in Iredell County.

For those who have not previously been involved, please consider joining us. It is by working together that we create the biggest impact and change lives for the better across this community. To learn more about how you can participate, call us today at 704-872-3000.

Paul Cook is a member of the United Way of Iredell Board of Directors. He is the chairman of the 2019-2020 capital campaign.

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