Getting more people into a boat

December 12, 2012 — By Pamela Beckford

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.
1. a social group of any size whose 
members reside in a specific locality,
share government, and often have a 
common cultural and historical heritage.
2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
Here at United Way we refer to Community a lot.  Community (with a capital “C”) refers to a larger body than just our town.  It is all of us living/working here. 
We want to make sure that our Community is a safe, healthy, prosperous place to live.  And when there are parts (or individuals) of our Community that need a boost, we want to make sure there is help for them. 
That means creating a Community where we don’t have children going to bed hungry; a Community where our older citizens have the assistance they need to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible; a Community where moms and dads are equipped to be the first teachers of their young children; a Community where everyone has the tools to be successful in school.
The Early Childhood Initiative is addressing many of those very things.  We offer parent guides to assist parents with activities for their small children; there are preschool scholarships for low-income families; the Imagination Library introduces toddlers and infants to books and reading, and more.
But these programs do not just appear by magic.  They are the result of a Community coming together to support those programs. It has been said that a “rising tide lifts all boats.”  But not everyone has been able to even get into the boat yet.  It is our responsibility as a Community to help everyone get into a boat.  Some may be rowboats and some may be sailboats and some of us have speedboats – most are somewhere in between.
Won’t you look around our Community and do what you can to get everyone into a boat? Make this a Community that is strong, healthy, educated and has hope for the future.
United Way can be one of the vehicles to help you help our friends and neighbors.  This year, we have received a grant that will match new or increased donations.  It is that grant that will help fund our Early Childhood programs.  Help us help the Community.
 Pamela Beckford is the executive director
of the United Way of Wells County

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