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United Way Blog

Improve Your Community in 2013

I was one of many people who rushed to get my 2012 donation checks in the mail before New Year’s Eve.  For tax reasons, for goodwill reasons, for habit reasons.

Don’t get me wrong.  Writing my small checks to local charities that help children, support nonprofit leadership, offer disadvantaged kids the ability to play soccer, and support my kids’ public schools – it all matters.   It’s part of my commitment to live out my values and help my community.

But what has really got me excited right now is being asked to serve on the start-up executive committee of my local United Way’s Women Leadership Council.  It’s part of a national movement – 50,000 kick*** women from business and philanthropy who are coming together in 130 communities to make a difference in real, lasting ways.  It’s about more than money, although these women have raised almost $1 billion in the last decade.

Our Women’s Leadership Council in Asheville, NC is going to be recruiting women to be volunteers, advocate and donors to extend the impact of a new middle school initiative.  In our community, there aren’t many resources for middle school kids outside of school.  But it’s those hours – 3 to 6 pm – when most of the drug use, sex and crime happens for middle schoolers.  So our United Way took this on as a focus, and our new Women’s Leadership Council is doing the same.

I’m psyched because it’s a way to involve my friends, make new friends, hang out with cool women – and make a difference.  I’ll still be writing my checks every year (and giving my big check to United Way, which doesn’t feel so big when it comes out of my weekly paycheck).  But my passion and energy will be going to this new group of dedicated women, women who’re driven to make our community a stronger one.

What are you doing in 2013 to give to a cause close to your heart?  How about investing your time and talents as well?

For me, it’s an easier resolution to keep than losing those same 10 pounds…